(With the Chengdu students are educators, L-R, Liu Jing, Lisa Clayton, Jen Dowell)
West Seattle schools have been at the forefront of the increasing amount of Chinese-language learning offered to students – with the Confucius Institute based on the Denny-Sealth campus – but did you know that English-language learning is key for students in China, too? That’s a big reason why this group of 4th- and 5th-graders from Chengdu Longjiang Road Primary School in central China (map), is spending three weeks at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point. Their visit was arranged by Pathfinder assistant principal Lisa Clayton (who also happens to be the mom of two China-born daughters).
Since there’s no classes tomorrow, the students are wrapping up their first week today; we stopped by to meet them early Tuesday. In a quick chat before the school day revved up, the students told us they are enjoying all aspects of their visit – not just getting to practice their English, but also making new friends, playing with their host families’ pets, enjoying seasonal all-American traditions like a visit to a pumpkin patch.
The students are here in the U.S. with their school’s assistant principal Liu Jing; a frequent Pathfinder substitute teacher, Jen Dowell, has been hired to help out during their stay. None of this comes out of the school’s budget or any other public funds – Clayton worked it out with the Northwest International Student Exchange, based in Portland, which handles it all. This is part of a monthlong U.S. visit for the students, which started back East and continues after their West Seattle stay, with a trip to Disneyland!
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