Volume 33, Number 7 • November 25, 2014

AD: Diocese of San Jose
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Saint Francis High School responds to trend to study Chinese
Posting Date: 03-19-2013


By Laurie Gustafson
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, thousands of schools across America have decreased their foreign language offerings in the last decade. In the midst of this decline, however, there appears to be a race by schools to offer instruction in Chinese.
Experts say there are several factors fueling this surge, but one likely reason is parents, students and educators recognize the expanding influence of the world’s most populous country.
“Proficiency in languages other than English and meaningful understanding of international cultures is critical in our global society and economy,” said Patricia Tennant, Principal of Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, a school that recognized the burgeoning interest to study Chinese and responded by establishing a comprehensive program in 2007.
“Providing opportunities for our students to study and serve varied communities of the world reflects the global vision of the late Blessed Father Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He understood, over 170 years ago, that a comprehensive education based on Gospel values could bring purpose to students’ lives in the chaos of the society that surrounds them,” Tennant explained.
Saint Francis offers four levels of Chinese, as well as AP Chinese, and is home to several clubs and activities that support its Mandarin program. The school’s iFamily Club promotes cross-cultural communication between American and Chinese high school students through the use of various

technologies, including Skype.
Its members recently had the opportunity to interact face-to-face with their Chinese peers when they served as on-campus tour guides for ten students and five teachers visiting from Shenzhen Middle School, an elite Chinese secondary school encompassing grades 10-12, who were visiting the U.S. to compete in a national physics competition.
There is also a thriving Chinese exchange program at Saint Francis which recently welcomed 23 students and two teachers from Sinolink Primary School in Shenzhen, China. Sinolink students spent their days at St. Joseph Elementary School in Mountain View, Saint Francis’ local partner in the exchange.
“Any chance we have to broaden the horizons of our students and introduce them to cultures and languages other than their own is a gift,” explained St. Joseph Principal Stephanie Mirenda.
“I consider time spent with these students a blessing. Each year, our students pick up a little more Mandarin, and I hope they will advance to the Saint Francis Chinese classes when they become Lancers,” Mirenda said.
Visiting students attend Saint Francis Mandarin teachers Michael Conley’s and Wei-Li Huang’s Chinese classes where they share customs and culture. Students stayed with Saint Francis and St. Joseph host families.
Conley said, “It is clear parents and students view China’s emergence as important and believe that fluency in its language and appreciation of its history and culture is worthwhile.”

 
- The Valley Catholic

 
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11-25-2014 - Sports Wrap Up [11-25-14]
11-25-2014 - Catholic Academy Students Raise $1,000 for Pediatric Cancer
11-25-2014 - Olympian and World Cup Champion Brandi Chastain Coaching Soccer at Bellarmine College Prep
11-04-2014 - St. Simon School’s art program helps students shine
11-25-2014 - Queen of Apostles Students get involved in their Community
11-04-2014 - Saint Francis students give back by fasting and donating blood
11-04-2014 - St. Justin School’s Sports Rally
11-04-2014 - St. Martin of Tours supports breast cancer awareness month and ALS
11-04-2014 - Resurrection School's Annual Walk-A-Fun
11-04-2014 - St. Joseph of Cupertino Students Thinking of Others during the New School Year
11-04-2014 - Sports update: St. Lawrence Academy Fall Sports Season is off to a Winning Start
11-25-2014 - Resurrection School’s Annual Halloween Bash
11-04-2014 - Opening its doors and its minds to Catholic Education
11-25-2014 - Bellarmine Student Serves as Delegate to UNESCO World Youth Forum
11-25-2014 - St. John Baptist celebrates Feast of All Saints
11-25-2014 - Ancient Egypt Cake Maps Project at St. Justin
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Highlights
News - In The Diocese
Fire destroys beloved Holy Cross Church

A message from Bishop Patrick J. McGrath

125 Years of Service and Continuing...

Celebrating the Year of the Consecrated Life

Sections - Catholic Schools
Ancient Egypt Cake Maps Project at St. Justin

Catholic Academy Students Raise $1,000 for Pediatric Cancer

Queen of Apostles Students get involved in their Community

Sports Wrap Up [11-25-14]

Olympian and World Cup Champion Brandi Chastain Coaching Soccer at Bellarmine College Prep

St. Joseph of Cupertino Students Thinking of Others during the New School Year

St. Simon School’s art program helps students shine

Resurrection School's Annual Walk-A-Fun

Opening its doors and its minds to Catholic Education

Sections - Spanish News
Historia del Día de Gracias

125 Años de Servicio y Continuo…

News - In The Church
Rally with Thanksgiving theme last-minute plea for immigration order

Evolution, Big Bang do not push aside God, who set it in motion

Sections - Commentary
College Chaos

Origin of our Thanksgiving Day

GUEST COMMENTARY: We are Family

Sections - Columns
Spirituality: The Goddess of Chastity

News - Community
ON A FIRM FOUNDATION: End-of-year giving with Catholic Ministries in Mind

San Jose Symphonic Choir Performs Handel’s Messiah

Season of Hope Cathedral Performance Series

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

Humane Society Silicon Valley’s 12th Annual Walk ‘n Wag Raises $264,000

Third Annual Virgen de Los Remedios Celebration

Consolation sessions offered in preparation for the holidays…

PACT Grassroots and Faith Leaders Guide Mayoral Candidates through San Jose on Bus Tour

Sections - Youth & Young Adults
Open Mic Night at Newman Center