Applying Language Skills in the Real World

Story by Kay Haas – Staff Reporter

Chinese Honor Society is making a difference in their community by volunteering at the Chinese School of Greater Kansas City. While these students are learning a new language, Mandarin Chinese, they help young children learn the language as well.


All students who are taking Chinese 3 and 4 have the option to go help at the Chinese School in Kansas City. At the school, they help at snack time, help the teachers set up, and explain certain assignments to the kids. A challenging aspect about helping out at the school is that Chinese is the predominantly spoken language there. These students are not just helping kids and teachers at the school, but they are challenging their language skills as they help.


Lucy Horton, junior, is in Chinese 4. This is her second year helping out at the Chinese School. During her time in the Chinese Honor Society, she has accumulated just about 15 hours of volunteering at the school. She has seen all of the benefits of helping at the school.


“Especially when you are working with a bunch of people who are fluent in Mandarin they will usually ask you questions at their speed so you have to adapt to what they are saying, and also you have to keep up with your vocabulary,” Horton said.


Not only does it improve her own language skills, but it also helps the young kids who are learning Mandarin Chinese.


“I volunteer with the smaller kids usually, so to just see their progress in Mandarin and me being able to help them understand is always nice,” Horton said.


Chinese Honor Society requires a smart and determined individual who is ready to challenge themselves beyond the classroom setting.


Photo by Valda Hsu