Published in Macalester Today
Ten years ago, Macalester didn’t even teach Chinese. Now interest in the language has grown so much that this fall the college will open a Chinese language residence.
Joining language interest houses in French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Japanese, the Chinese Language House—to be located at 216 Vernon St.—is only the latest reflection of Mac students’ growing attraction to this world language.
Last spring semester, 67 students were enrolled in Chinese language classes, 15 students were majoring in Chinese, and 6 were minoring in it.
Last spring semester, 67 students were enrolled in Chinese language classes, 15 students were majoring in Chinese, and 6 were minoring in it. Due in part to the increased number of K–12 Chinese programs in the U.S., each year Mac has more first-year students with advanced language skills, says Chinese instructor Patricia Anderson, a trend she predicts will only continue.
Anderson will serve as faculty adviser for the five-student house; a native speaker will also live there. Housing priority will be given to Chinese majors, although any Chinese language student may apply to live in the house. Residents will host several cultural events each year.
Anderson is excited about the opening of Chinese House, a space students have been seeking for years. “A residential experience is especially important when you’re learning a language like Chinese that is not easily reinforced outside the classroom,” says Anderson. “This house will make Chinese language learning as natural as possible.”