From parent Janet Leung Fonss, New Canaan, CT:
"Our daughter, Ava (age 6), loves learning Chinese at CLSC. She doesn't think of CLSC as going to ‘school’, but as a place to play while learning Chinese. Every Sunday is a new adventure - whether it is learning numbers and animals through playing board games or learning about the Silk Road by making paper tissue quilts in Culture class. The CLSC teachers always make learning Chinese fun through age appropriate FUN activities. We could not be happier with our experience so far at CLSC!!”
From tutoring parent, Brian Bremner:Many thanks for the tutoring work this summer. It paid off: Marie qualified to take Chinese III this year. She's very excited and we are both grateful for Xianxian's rigorous teaching skills. Best wishes, Brian Bremner
From parent Darwei Kung, Harrison, NY:
"[My wife] Terri and I have explored several alternatives for our son's Chinese education. After comparing different options, we decided CLSC's communicative approach to language learning is best suited for our child to learn Chinese.
From parent Zheng Wang, Wilton CT:
“I was a Board member at CLSC long before my daughterwas born, because I believe in the idea of having a community where childrenwith Chinese heritage can get exposure to the language and culture and form abond among themselves, and I admire the entrepreneurial and can-do spirit ofthe parent founders, board members and school leadership. I enrolled mydaughter last fall when she turned two, and have been going to classes with herever since. We both enjoy the experience tremendously. Mydaughter asks every weekend - are we going to Chinese school? I'mimpressed with the level of energy and creativity our teacher puts into everysession. The 'low-fi' crayon, paper, sissor, glue format really gets thekids engaged.”
From alumni parent, Dr. Sue Chang, Orange, CT:
"CLSC has continued to build a progressive language programin tune with technology, and is now launching an online-based homework help session that will enhance reinforcement. It's very exciting for this toevolve for our students as our teachers are dedicated to enriching theirlearning experience."
From parent Samantha Connell, Stamford, CT:
"It has been well-established that early exposure to language can make all the difference in fluency. However, like most 3-year-olds, my son is not very cooperative, doesn't like to sit still, and has a very short attention span. I was very concerned that we would struggle through his Chinese classes this year.
I have been so pleasantly surprised with how much he has learned. Huang Lao Shi (Vivi) has done an absolutely incredible job--coming up with fun and interesting ways to engage the children in their lessons for every class. It is clear that she spends a significant amount of time preparing for the classes and coming up with playful lessons and manipulatives for the children.
Some examples are: using Mr. Potato Head to learn facial features, bringing in a huge bag of stuffed animals to learn animals, using individual number characters written on post-its for the children to put onto a picture of a train, blowing up different color balloons to learn colors (and shooting them off!), and awarding stickers and happy faces for good behavior. Her patience and enthusiasm really keeps the children focused.
My son has had a great year and has learned more Chinese than I expected. Most importantly, he enjoys his Chinese school experience."
In addition, the Better Chinese website has great tools to help my daughter to learn to speak Chinese using the correct pronunciation and tones. We've downloaded mp3 files of all her lessons and are able to listen to them in the car. By the end of the week she can speak the lesson text like a native speaker!
From CLSC alumni parent, Betty Liu, Southport, CT:
"Thank you for offering such excellent programs at CLSC. Our high school, Faifield Ludlowe High School, offers Mandarin during the school day. Now that my daughter Ivy is a freshman there, she will be able to take Intermediate Mandarin (She was able to get waived from Beginner Chinese due to her previous Chinese learning). My older daughter Amber also did this last year. Because Mandarin is so different from English, it seems to tweak the brain in such a way that it enhances learning other subjects as well, the way learning chess and music do. As a result, I believe my kids have done better in school because of studying Chinese. Best of luck on continuing the mission of CLSC."
From parents Helen and Daniel Zou:
"We started our daughter, Amelie, in Chopstix 3 years ago, when she was 5. We were looking for a fun but meaningful way to introduce her to the Chinese language and culture. Amelie has shown great motivation to attend class at CLSC every week, so we've continued the program with the purpose of deepening not only her linguistic skills, but also her cultural understanding."
From parent Lin Shaw:
"The Chopstix teachers make learning Chinese fun for the children by incorporating music, story-telling, arts & crafts."
From parent Robyn Wasserman, Old Greenwich, CT:
"Our family's experience at the Chinese Language School of Connecticut has been wonderful. The teachers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and highly educated. They have challenged our daughter to learn Mandarin and have made her experience quite enjoyable. We would definitely recommend the Chinese Language School of Connecticut."
From parent Dana Lupton, Wilton, CT:
"Both Quinn and I have grown tremendously from our experience with the Chinese Language School of Connecticut. It has served as a source of bonding and an outlet for her to stay in touch with her Chinese roots. We began with Chopstix and she is now thriving in Level I. I am profoundly grateful for the experience it has provided both of us.....but most important and notable is the pride she takes in participating. I can't say enough about the program, its founders and administrators if I tried."
From parent Daisy Wang, Bronxville, NY:
"I like the fact that the instructors in the Chopstix program are always well prepared for class. The curriculum is designed in a way that makes the learning process lively and encourages students to focus on the class, which is not an easy task for the toddler age program. Each student participates. I think these qualities explain the increased interest my son is taking in learning Mandarin Chinese in the Choptix program."
From parent Henriette Hoang Rieffel:
"Our son is in Chopstix II and looks forward to every session because he enjoys playing the games. The teachers do an incredible job in designing the class so that learning is reinforced by games after each short session. Parental presence in the class is excellent for both parent and child, helping parents learn the words in order to assist the children at home and making the younger kids feel more secure.
Over all, we are very impressed with the rich yet low pressure atmosphere in the class. Learning is fun for all of us."
From Kelly Fischetti, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT:
The girls [at Greenwich Academy] really enjoyed your program. [Vice Principal] Daisy [Chen Laone] and Miss Li tailored it to their level, class size and time commitment just perfectly. I think it was an excellent introduction to Chinese language and culture and I know the girls had a great time!
Thank you, Susan and all your staff at the Chinese Language School of Connecticut!
From parent Mary Beth Massaro:
Thanks to all. Working with everybody at CLSC has been a wonderful experience. I'm thankful that we found CLSC for [our son] Matt. The creative approach, the fellow students, and of course Huang Laoshi and Zhou Laoshi have made learning Chinese for Matt an amazing adventure!
From parent Liwen Reardon, Greenwich, CT:
My daughter just did her first two media assignments online, and then she started asking whether there were other quizzes or games that she could do - she has NEVER asked for more Chinese homework before!
From Corporate Program Student Monica Debiak, Stamford, CT:
"For work purposes, I am transferring to Beijing. I was worried about feeling vulnerable once I moved because I could not speak Mandarin. I studied five weeks with a private tutor at the Chinese Language School of Connecticut. I could not have been more pleased with the lessons. In five weeks, I was able to say the basic phrases which will allow me to get a cab, order food, and survive in a foregin city. I only wish I had more time to take more classes before I leave. The instruction was invaluable."
From parent Wendy Scafa:
"Thank you for bringing me
here, Mom!!!" was what my then-7 year old daughter Aspen said her 2nd week
From parents Wendy Feldman and Dr. Stanley Wainapel, New York, NY
Manhattan resident, Wendy Feldman Wainapel, explained, "We have sampled other Chinese language learning options [private tutoring, after school programs, small local Chinese schools/classes] but the curriculum and educational goals were not well formulated and there was no continuity of staff.
CLSC has provided exactly what we were looking for: a formalized program; a well trained, committed, stable staff; and, a well-defined, engaging curriculum where each teaching level builds upon the previous one. An extra perk is that there are culture classes which add another dimension to her educational experience. Our daughter loves learning Chinese! She has made great progress in speaking, reading and writing which has been extremely gratifying to both her and us."
From parent Lynn Burton, Greenwich, CT
For the past school year, my son has had the privilege of learning Mandarin through CLSC. My son and his friend, both 8th graders, met weekly with a CLSC tutor after school. Both boys had a keen desire to learn Mandarin Chinese. What they ended up with was not only a working vocabulary of about 1000 words and characters, but also a passion for Chinese culture and history.
At the initial class, the boy's instructor explained that in order to learn Mandarin, one must also learn to love China and its people. Every lesson was crafted with this underlying objective, which not only made the instructions engaging and fun, it maintained my son's enthusiasm for Mandarin, even through the challenging and time-consuming hours of practicing the characters and pronunciations. Kudos to CLSC for capturing my son's enthusiasm and nurturing his love for China through Mandarin.
From the Kockenmeister Family, Old Greenwich, CT
Thank you CLSC Principal, Teachers and Community for providing a fun environment to help our children learn Chinese!! My children look forward to the Chinese New Year Festival every year. We are grateful to have a Chinese academy right in our backyard.
From Laurie Heiss, Greenwich, CT
I turned to the Chinese Language School of CT when my seventh grade son explained to me (after a substitute teacher spoke about China) that he needed to learn Mandarin, since so many people speak this language. The CLSC principal designed a custom tutoring session for my son and another 13 year old boy, after school at the Cos Cob Library, around their other activities.
Twice a week throughout eighth grade they came and enjoyed learning - and my son continued to learn at GHS where Mandarin was implemented after many diverse students appealed to the Board of Education for the added language course. His teacher at GHS was one of his CLSC tutors...and he has a great respect for her, and a deep friendship seven years later.
Now at Brown, class of 2014, my son studies Mandarin daily and intends to go to China for the second time after his sophomore year. Students of Mandarin are culturally knowledgeable about life and business in China; they have bright futures!
From parent and Advisory Committee member, Mei Nishiwaki:
CLSC program is perfect for my family. We are off Asian descent but do not speak Mandarin at home. Through program's extensive use of technology and pace of delivery, my daughters are able to learn Mandarin in a supportive, engaging and enjoyable way.