Community-based Service Learning in Heritage Languages

    This project focuses on Mandarin Chinese as a prototypical heritage language and brings ethnic undergraduate students and members of the Chinese community together through service learning initiatives. In an experimental section of Mandarin 202, a special “laboratory section” of Mandarin featuring language study through service learning in the target language community is offered. A final project comprising service learning components is a prominent element of the course.

    In Spring 2002, students in a special section of Mandarin 202 established contacts with experienced foreign students from China. With their language instructor’s help, the 202 students carried out a series of well-designed interviews of their speaking partners in the target language. Finally, using knowledge gained in the interviews, the students designed informational materials in Chinese about life in Honolulu. these materials were specifically designed to of service to students newly arrived from China as they adjust to life in a new environment.

    More information on this project is available at


    Fall 2001

    • Prepare to teach special section of Mandarin 202.

    Spring 2002

    • Offer special section of Mandarin 202.