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Year of the Rabbit by Leah








How did you do with reading about the Chinese New Year in Chinese?  Would you be willing to live in China for 10 months with the goal of learning how to read and speak Chinese so that you could work successfully in school, at your job, grocery shop and more?   It makes my brain hurt to think about this.

The Chinese text tells this story in our language, English. Read on:

Leah Poster

Did you know that one of our third grade students speaks two languages?  Leah Vandenberg is in Mrs. Flory’s class and she was adopted from an orphanage in China last spring.

Since arriving on May 31, 2010, Leah life has changed in the most dramatic and amazing ways.  She has gone to living in a building with hundreds of children to a living with her adoptive family in a wonderful home in Jenison.  Leah has gone from speaking one language, Chinese to speaking English and Chinese.  She has adjusted to new cuisine, holiday’s, daily routines, school, riding in a car and school bus, braces, and so much more I can’t capture in this blog post.

Her school day and home life is in English.  I often watch Leah while she is learning and think that she must go home exhausted.  I speak ONE language.  ONE.  I’ve attempted to learn other languages, but not successfully….and I had the choice to quit my studies.

Leah has no choice.  In order to survive in our English speaking world, she must learn our language.  Leah has made amazing progress so far this year!

To showcase her learning, she explained the Chinese New Year to her classmates.  This holiday took place on January 22 and there are many rich traditions that go along with the welcoming of the Chinese New Year.  Leah explained to her classmates that this is year of the rabbit. The Chinese people celebrate this holiday with special foods, celebrations, and decorations.

Leah did a wonderful job!  We learn as much from her as she learns from us.    She ended her talk by showing her classmates how to make Chinese lanterns! Part of the Chinese tradition is to launch lit lanterns at night during a special lantern festival.   This collage below is a collection of the best parts of her presentation.


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