New Mandarin Chinese class takes FHC

The language department adds Mandarin Chinese.


Makayla Abram

Junior Theo Ingram drawing Chinese characters.

Elizabeth Gerger, Staff reporter

The language department is continuing to grow with the addition of Mandarin Chinese this school year. 29 students have enrolled in the third hour class and are almost a semester into the class.

Mrs. Wan-Tzu Chen, the Mandarin Chinese teacher, has been teaching the language for four years now. Mrs. Chen teaches at Francis Howell North, FHC, Francis Howell High, and Bryan middle school.

She is from Taiwan and came to the United States to attend Lock Haven University and the University of Pittsburgh. She used to teach Mandarin Chinese, her first language, online and met with those students three times a week. Her previous students were in high school and different state colleges. Mrs. Chen believes that all of her students will use the language in the future.

Junior Theo Ingram agrees with Mrs. Chen that the language will be useful and plans on traveling to China in the near future.

“After I turn 18 and graduate, my older brother and I are going to visit some family in China and I would like to be semi-fluent in Chinese by then,” said Ingram.

Ingram admits that the class is easy. He took French his freshman year and contrasted how different the languages are.

“It [Mandarin Chinese] is different because it’s not Latin-based and every character is different, so it’s not just spelling, it’s drawing characters.”

While Ingram is planning on using the language within the next few years, senior Austin Crain admits that he will probably never use the language in the future.

“I thought it would be an interesting class to take. I think it would be cool just to be able to speak Mandarin to people,” added Crain. He also stated that the class would’ve been more beneficial for him to take earlier in his high school career.

Many of Mrs. Chen’s students at FHC recommend the class and hope to take Mandarin Chinese ll next year if enough students sign up for it.