New center offers Mandarin-language cultural programs for adults – The Mercury News
As a person who speaks both languages, the Mayor of Cupertino, Darcy Paul, believes that offering the English-speaking population of the city the opportunity to learn Mandarin is a beneficial step for future collaborations and economic growth not only between different nations, but also within local communities.
“With Cupertino having such a large population of Chinese speaking people, it’s important to have an opportunity for non-speakers to really immerse themselves in the language,” Paul said in a speech he gave at both in English and Mandarin in September. 4 inauguration of the Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning.
The center, located at Lynbrook High School in western San Jose, offers programs to teach Mandarin to adults as a gateway to understanding Chinese and Taiwanese culture. It operates as an affiliate of Silicon Valley Chinese School (SVCS), a San Jose-based non-profit organization founded in 1974, and was started to promote cultural exchange and understanding, especially after the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic.
“We can teach Americans who don’t know Chinese culture, say, a work of art from a thousand years ago, and explain why it represents something like peace or war, through a Chinese perspective,” SVCS President Stanley Kou said.
In addition to Paul, elected officials at the inauguration included Milpitas Union School District Board Chair Chris Norwood, State Assembly Member Evan Low, County Supervisor of Santa Clara Otto Lee, Deputy Mayor of Cupertino Liang Chao and Cupertino Union School District Board Member Jerry Liu.
Liu said that there is an equally great need for adult language learning programs as there is for children and teenagers.
“Once you are 18 or over, the resources are much, much less available,” he added. “It’s not just about learning the language; it’s really about learning the culture around the language. You learn certain idioms; where do these idioms come from? So I’m really happy to see SVCS doing this at a level that I think mostly indicates an underserved population here. “
For more information visit siliconvalleymandarin.org.
Rachel Jiang and Jack Zhang are interns for Hung Wei, a member of Cupertino city council.