Breaking News

Local News

December 7, 2012

The First Semester of Chinese at Logansport High School

LHS students enter final weeks of newest language class

LOGANSPORT — At Logansport High School, 47 students are enrolled in Chinese language classes — and are putting together complete sentences before their first semester is over.

One class of students paired off Thursday to practice using 15 new vocabulary words used to describe members of a family, their age and profession. One student in each pair slowly described a simple family tree, in Chinese, for the other student to draw, occasionally calling on instructor Yi-Chun Lin with the Chinese word for teacher, “lao shi,” to ask a question.

They’re learning both spoken and written Chinese, said Lin, who teaches the class to use simplified Chinese characters, a modern form of writing Chinese that has become the official form in mainland China.

But while the students are becoming literate in a form of writing that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet, they still struggle to think of the characters as words or word segments.

“The last part looks like a banana peel,” said one student while completing an assignment.

Lin began teaching three classes of first-level Chinese this semester after the Logansport school board voted this spring to cut its German program in favor of adding Mandarin Chinese.

For the family vocabulary unit, she spent one week introducing the written forms and the following week working on their use in spoken Chinese.

“I’m impressed by some of the students,” said Lin. They have learned enough about Chinese grammar to notice similarities to English grammar and invent new sentences in Chinese based on similar structures in English, she explained.

“Right now the sentences are still short,” Lin added — translating to “The mother is 47,” or something similar. “If they get too long and complicated, maybe it would be different.”

The students learning Chinese make up about one-tenth of the total number of students enrolled in language classes, according to LHS office staff. A total of 447 students are taking traditional classes in Spanish, French and Chinese and studying German through an online course.

More than half — 264 students — are studying Spanish, but when expected enrollment for the Chinese classes was announced in April, principal Matt Jones said he was pleased with students’ response to the new offering.

A small number of students continued studying German via online courses.

Back in the classroom, Lin said she thought her students were brave to try learning Chinese and noted she’d had a good response from parents.

“I think the parents are supportive,” she said, based on conversations during the school’s fall open house and over the phone.

Two 14-year-old freshmen said they have enjoyed studying Chinese, a subject they had no experience in before this fall.

“It’s a great class,” said Fabian Carrasquillo, who wants to pursue a field in medicine after graduating. “I’m learning a lot. It’s good to learn a new language to expand your choices later on in life.”

In the meantime, he’s used his newfound Chinese abilities to help translate basic information at a school supply drive his sister volunteered with. He and other students also try out their Chinese at Asian restaurants when they have the chance.

Zach Overway, who worked with Carrasquillo on the family tree assignment Thursday, said Lin has succeeded in making the complex language understandable.

“I’ve already been able to form complete sentences and thoughts in Chinese,” said Overway.

He wants to become an engineer when he grows up, he said. But he’s studying Chinese for other reasons, too.

“It sounded interesting, and China is a growing global power,” Overway explained. “You’ll need to know a lot of Chinese to do business.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at or 574-732-5151.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police blotter: April 17, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 G.jpg Sign of support: Class meant to connect hearing-impaired family members Jordanna Dishner-Rush gestured forcefully to a coat rack hanging in the back of the meeting room at the Logansport Library. She was trying to use just hand motions — no speech — to get the other women to guess the secret word she'd been given. Dishne

    April 17, 2014 12 Photos

  • Logansport graduation rate rises again Logansport High School's graduation rate jumped almost 2 percentage points to 92.9 percent in 2013, data released Wednesday show. The Indiana Department of Education released graduation data for the 2012-2013 school year Wednesday. The data show that

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 Mustangs.jpg Local dealer celebrates the Mustang Fifty years ago today, the Ford Mustang was introduced to the public at the New York World's Fair. Now, six of them will be on display for the next few weeks at Rick's Auto Sales in Logansport celebrating what the business owner says is a half centur

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redevelopment commission proposes new TIF expansion The Logansport Redevelopment Commission is now considering including land surrounding Water Street in a proposed consolidation of the city's tax increment financing districts. A tax increment financing, or TIF, district, captures the increments of an

    April 17, 2014

  • Bids under budget for Carroll project FLORA -- Bids came in under budget for a two-year construction project set to start this summer at Carroll Consolidated Schools. Fourteen construction bids chosen at the Carroll school board's meeting Tuesday night added up to $7,283,628, well under

    April 17, 2014

  • Bunker Hill parents charged with neglect BUNKER HILL — A month-long investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Mike Tarrh recently resulted in the arrests of Richard Avery Jr., 30, and Heather Avery, 28, both of Bunker Hill. Police say they received information from the Miami County Di

    April 16, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 16, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 16, 2014

  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 05 [Duplicate] State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg Flora physician remains after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

     View Results