US First Lady Michelle Obama Visits the Confucius Classroom at Yu Ying Public Charter School

[Source]    Confucius Classroom at Yu Ying Public Charter School [Time]    2014-03-18 11:22:18 

On March 4 Washington D.C. time, US First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to the Confucius Classroom at Yu Ying Public Charter School as part of the preparations for her trip to China at the end of March. During the visit, she had intimate talks with American children studying Chinese there, and learned from them about China and the Chinese language.

At 2 p.m., surrounded by altogether 30 six-graders, Michelle attentively listened to their travel experiences in China last year. She first told them that it is extremely important for an American student to immerse himself into foreign languages and cultures at a school like Yu Ying if he truly desires to learn more about other countries, and then she said, “You are pioneers. I wish there will be more schools that will enable kids to know about the rest of the world. Your school has set an example, so I was very excited to hear all your stories.”

Six-graders share travel experiences in China with Michelle Obama.

After the kids shared their trips to Chinese cities such as Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Suzhou, Michelle smilingly said to them, “You have ever been to where I am heading for, so I think you can help me prepare my trip.” Eager to be Michelle’s “teachers”, some kids taught her how to deal with the jet lag and gave her some useful tips that may come in handy in China. Michelle could not help laughing at a boy’s advice to learn how to ask where a bathroom is in Chinese. Both the first lady and the students were having a great time, and Michelle consecutively asked several questions although her assistant had reminded her that the time left might only allow for one last question.

Michelle Obama talks with the children from the kindergarten class.

Having said goodbye to the six-graders, Michelle went into the kindergarten classroom, where she was greeted by a group of little kids. They taught her how to say “Hello, my name is Michelle”, “I love you”, “Thank you” and “Goodbye” in Chinese, and put on a performance of Chinese Kung Fu Fan for her. Michelle gladly praised these little students, “You are all my teachers for this coming trip to China!”

Children put on a performance of Chinese Kung Fu Fan.

Hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland, the Confucius Classroom at Yu Ying Public Charter School is the first of its kind in Washington D.C.. In recent years, the steady development and great progress of its English and Chinese immersion teaching model have captured widespread attention.

Written by Allen Zhong; Photographed by Jonathan Henry


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