The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 6, 2013

Grand River international students teaching Chinese to preschoolers

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP —

 Sometimes Claire Restad doesn’t understand what Ming He is saying, but they have a lot of fun talking about it, anyway.

Claire, 3, is one of several preschool-age children taught by 19-year-old He, of China, and his friends, at Grand River Academy.

“The international students volunteer their time to teach the children Mandarin Chinese once a week,” international student adviser Angela Thomas said. “Ming started the project. He works with the children on language skills and with the parents on pronunciation.”

He, along with Jeff Li, Alex Ye, Nicholas Chen and Johnson Zhans, all from China, work with the five children on identifying colors, body parts, counting and more.

Li, 18, said he didn’t know much English when he came to the United States to study at Grand River Academy.

“That was the hardest thing for me,” he said. “People were talking and I had no idea what they were saying. I like that I can teach the kids Chinese and watch them learn as I learned when I came here.”

Li said teaching small children is challenging but fun.

“They are so cute,” he laughed. “Their emotions and reactions are fun to watch and I am really glad that I get to teach them. Because they are so young, you can’t just take a word and say it and expect them to understand. You have to show action. You have to show them what it means.”

Claire’s mother, Jen Restad, said she enjoys the lessons as much as her children do.

“I wish I knew another language fluently,” she said. “I hope that maybe one day she will have some interest in languages. This is definitely the age for her to learn. To learn by playing, what’s better than that?”

Taylor Fusek, 3, can be shy, but mom Laura Fusek said that doesn’t stop her from soaking up everything around her.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot