Visit Chinatown

Mandarin Students Take a Special Journey to Chinatown
In May 2022, our fifth grader Mandarin students went on a very special journey of language and culture learning to the NYC Flushing Chinatown.  

Joined by their families and guided by their Mandarin teachers David Schultz, Jingwen Cai, Asha Pollydore, and Wei Huang, with the support of World Languages Director Ana Aguiar-Mady, students met at the Port Washington Long Island Railroad Station and took the train together to the Flushing Chinatown in Queens.  Flushing is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, and as our train entered this cultural enclave, our young Mandarin scholars were overwhelmed with wonder and excitement, and affirmation of their hard work studying Mandarin since Kindergarten.

After arriving at the Railroad station in tumultuous weather, 150 students, siblings and parents were led by their “tour guides” through the busy Flushing streets to the New World Mall in the center of the downtown Flushing area.  There they were guided through stalls and storefronts covered in Chinese characters selling exotic wares, to arrive at the Royal Queen Dim Sum restaurant on the third floor of the mall.  IN the gilded banquet hall of this traditional Chinese restaurant,  students practiced their language skills, learning the names of the many dim sum “snacks” they tasted, including pork buns, a variety of dumplings, and “coconut jelly” dessert, while requesting food items from servers in Mandarin.  

After the Dim Sum feast, students were led on a scavenger hunt in the J-Mart multilevel Chinese supermarket in the mall.  They were given a Mandarin language list of foreign food items for them to scavenge and identify their English names and the prices.  Students were incredibly resourceful in tracking down each item, using Mandarin to ask other shoppers and reading the Chinese characters on the label. 

As the scavenger hunt concluded,  students and families were treated to a culminating dessert of “Bubble Tea”. Students enjoyed tasting this delicious beverage from Taiwan, savoring the sweet milk tea and enjoying the chewy textures of the “bubbles”.  

Students were truly amazed to discover another world and culture right here in New York so close to our very own community. They bravely left their comfort zones on a stormy Saturday morning, overcoming the obstacles of a bumpy train ride, a crowded and chaotic city center, traversing cultural and linguistic barriers to enliven their world language learning and open their eyes to the diverse tapestry of cultures in our country and our world. 

Article and photos provided by Mr. Shultz