WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 165 of 219

who, herself, attended a Cantonese language school in Lexington when she was growing up. "There are also plenty of children who may only have one parent who is Chinese, as is the case in our family." "Sometimes, these classes are the only time that the children speak Mandarin, as there is no one to practice with at home," states Kochling. "This was the case for my children, as my husband is not Chinese. I am proud that they have no accent because of the work that the school has done with them. The key is to start children when they are young; five years old is perfect. At that age, their listening ability is exceptional. They may speak with an accent, but, once corrected, they can hear the difference, and it usually sticks." Of the 100 families that attend the school, 20 percent come from families where only one parent is Chinese. The student body's diverse heritage provides an additional challenge for the school, but it works hard to support the students who may not have as many opportu- nities to practice Mandarin outside of school. "We are careful to hire teachers who are bilingual and look for text books that allow for self-instruction when the students are at home and parents cannot help," says Kochling. "Our chess teacher is not even Chinese," she says with a smile. The school also hires teachers' assistants from Wellesley High School, providing another way to increase ties with the greater commu- nity. "We are proud that Wellesley provides Chinese in the public schools from the seventh grade onward and want to be supportive," says Kochling. Another aspect that's impressive about the school is that it's primarily run by a volunteer community, parents, and board members. "They have really good teachers who are primarily volunteers," states Hasselback. "Our tuition really only covers the cost of rent." Ally Lin, a board member of the WCLS, restates this fact. "I think it's impressive for the children to see that the school is run by people W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 164 education "this school has enriched the students"

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