Updated: Nov 1, 2022
In the United States, there are about 110,000 Chinese abandoned babies who have been adopted into American adoptive families. Most of these children came to the United States at the age of 2-14, which means that these children themselves can speak Chinese. But in the adoptive family they only speak English, which means they gradually lose the ability to speak their native language.
In my opinion, these children who were born in China and grew up in the United States are likely to become ambassadors of communication between China and the United States in the future. There are already more than 100,000 such children. This is the original reason I founded A Perfect Love. These children with special growth experiences should contribute to the friendship between the Chinese people and the American people. They are the perfect proof of the friendship.
It would be a pity if this group of children could not speak Chinese in the future. In 2019，A Perfect Love started “Heritage learning Language Project”, a professional technical team developed a communication App for learning Chinese in English for this project, and I gave this App to these adoptive families for free. They can install the App on their phones and computers，it makes the kid learn Chinese conversation anytime, anywhere. It is the heritage language Learning Project version 1.0.
Although this App is simple, practical and easy to spread, it is far from enough for learning Chinese, the reason is that it only has the 500 most commonly used Chinese situational dialogues that I have selected. This is my rare professional performance after graduating from Peking University, majoring in Chinese. To be more precise, this program has only textbooks, not teachers. The effectiveness of teaching depends on self-learning ability of the children. The app can not provide individualized instruction in Chinese for students. ——For someone like me who has taught Chinese at an American university, I understand the seriousness of this problem.
In October 2021, my Peking University junior sister Yuanyan Xie approached me and proposed the idea of organizing young volunteers with the "Global Youth Philanthropy" founded by her as the main body to carry out online Chinese teaching for these adopted children. I think the plan is very valuable, this is also the 2.0 version of the “Heritage learning Language project”. The name of the version 2.0 is “Yu Ni Xiang Ban”.
What happened next further confirmed the proverb of the world - when you do something right, the whole world will come to help you.
The first step is marketing research. I work with the largest Chinese Orphan Adoption Association in the US, and they send out questionnaires to their members, which are American families who have adopted Chinese children. After a while I received feedback from the first batch of questionnaires, but the amount of feedback was far from what I expected, which made me feel very frustrated. At this time, Joshua, the head of the CCAI Association, sent me a text message - "Not all great ideas can fly right away. Time will reward those who are persistent and patient." This sentence has become my motto in doing this business.
The second step is volunteer recruitment, the Global Youth Philanthropy mobilized their institutional advocacy projects in various countries. In a short period of time, more than 250 young volunteers signed up to become online language partners for these children. What happened next was even more encouraging.
The third person from Peking University stepped in to help—Minhhong Yu mobilized the team of New Oriental Education and technology Group Inc Overseas Chinese Language Teaching Institute “Neighbor Chinese” to join the sponsorship. This ensures the use of teaching materials for online Chinese conversation and the training of volunteers.
This transoceanic project with special significance has been pushed to a whole new level!
The torch relay and the heart-to-heart connection of the three Peking University alumnus will bring a gift to these Chinese children on the other side of the ocean.
The online language partners not only communicate with the children, but also spread Chinese culture. Therefore, the Rebuild Mother Tongue, originally named by our foundation, was officially renamed as "Heritage Language Learning Program".
During this process, there was another Peking University student who collaborated with all his strength—Xin Luo, (her personal social media has become a professional account for reporting American adoptive families), she sent a message to contact the more than 100 American adoptive families and post their information directly. Soon she received a batch of positive feedback.
We cross the ocean and meet in summer, the new opening on July 1st. These children who are used to only using English at home will be hear the beautiful local accent they used to know when they were young face to face.
I have a dream - watch the children learning Chinese everyday. I hope one day in the future, in United States, in China, in any international place, these children with special missions will be able to speak fluent English and Chinese this world.
President of A Perfect Love