Is Mandarin the New Sliced Bread?


SHS Mandarin students Edson Andrade, Jakob Henderson, Reid Fulton, and Michael James enjoy learning about Chinese culture

Reid Fulton and Jakob Henderson

你好 (ni hao)! Is the current world language you are taking just not cutting it? Do you want to experience a diverse culture within the walls of SHS? Do you want to become fluent in John Cena’s second language? Are you willing to embrace a challenge and have the best time of your life?

If this appeals to you, you should consider taking Mandarin at SHS with Shan Jiang, who is known as Jiang Laoshi. As the most recent addition to the SHS World Language Department, Mandarin is an interesting alternative to French or Spanish. 

In Room 278, you will hear the most spoken language in the world–even more than English! About 20% of the world’s population speaks Mandarin; that’s roughly 1.2 billion people. 

SHS is lucky to have Jiang Laoshi. Described by students as “the nicest teacher here at Scituate High School,” she is always “willing to teach anyone her first language.” Jiang Laoshi was born and raised in Wuhan, China, and gained her master’s degree at Boston College. Jiang Laoshi encourages students to take Mandarin: “Mandarin class is a great opportunity for students to immerse themselves into the culture of China!” 

At Scituate High School, there is an average of 10-15 students per Mandarin class. Levels range from Mandarin 1 to AP Mandarin. 

This year, the world language department took a hit and parted with one of the most ancient classical languages: Latin. Latin students were notably disappointed, but they understood why the language was not sustainable at SHS. Like Latin, Mandarin attracts fewer students than French or Spanish, but students in the class will fight to keep the immersive class from suffering the same fate as Latin. 

SHS senior Victor Bowker, who has studied Mandarin for six years and is currently taking AP Mandarin, commented “Mandarin gives an opportunity to students to explore the language and culture of one of the most important countries in the world. In order to expand the freedoms of the world, we must work diplomatically to unite the world.” 

So, if you’re looking for a new challenge or perspective, consider joining the ranks of Room 278!