Bringing the world into the heartland

KU institute teaches Chinese language to students throughout the state

Jodi Sunderland, who oversees the Interactive Distance Learning Lab at Goddard High School, doesn’t speak Chinese, but she doesn’t really need to. She sees daily proof of how well the six students studying that language with KU’s Confucius Institute instructor Wendy Wang are doing.


High-school students in the Confucius Institute’s StarTalk: Chinese Jump! summer language program practice Chinese calligraphy during a July 2009 field trip to the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

“My students love this class,” she says. “We are extremely happy with the content, the pace, and the teacher. She is very engaging, and the kids like her so much.”

Goddard is one of 22 Kansas school districts that have participated in the institute’s single-session or academic-year Chinese culture or language programs. Nearly 2,000 elementary and secondary students have benefited from this partnership with the Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center in Greenbush.

Sunderland, whose school also offers Arabic and Japanese classes through Greenbush, knows the program is a success: “The students are already begging for Chinese 2 next year.”

YING (ying)

MAO (mah-oh)

ma (mah)

gou (go)

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