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Students, Community Invited to Learn Chinese

SUNY Plattsburgh students and members of the community are huan ying (welcome) to take Chinese language lessons on campus Thursdays beginning at 6 p.m. in Room 144, Hawkins Hall.

Tom Montanaro, who spent a year teaching English at Wan Li University in China and improved his own Chinese in the process, is teaching the class with a former Wan Li student, Xiaowen (Shirley) Li, who is now a student at SUNY Plattsburgh.

 "We started doing Chinese classes a few years ago as a means to help anyone interested in learning Chinese meet with Chinese students and have a cultural as well as language exchange," Montanaro said. "It’s a good opportunity for anyone in the community to learn Chinese. Some students this year are taking lessons to get a baseline in Chinese before traveling to China."

The classes are non-credit bearing, and no registration is required. Montanaro said it’s a drop-in class for anyone who is interested in learning the language. Chinese students attend the class to interact with English-speaking students as well as gain a better grasp of pronunciation. The last few minutes of class are often spent in conversation with the Chinese students.

Montanaro said the emphasis is more on speaking and listening rather than reading and writing.

"It’s more to improve conversational skills," he said.

The last class for this semester is Dec. 6, but Montanaro said he hopes to continue the classes next semester. For more information, contact him at [email protected]

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