Zhao Danchen, one of the Chinese language teachers of U.S. President Donald Trumps granddaughter Arabella Kushner, says she is proud of her student and hopes to use her teaching efforts to expand not only Chinese language, but also Chinas unique culture.
When Trump visited Beijing earlier this month, his six-year-old granddaughter, Arabella, went viral on Chinese social media.
During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump played a video of his granddaughter singing and reciting traditional poems in Mandarin.
Now, Arabella has become something of a star in China and a little ambassador between China and the United States.
I was really proud for sure, like all of us are proud. We know deeply in our heart that she is one of our students and whatever she did was beautiful in front of President Xi. And I am really happy and I know for sure that she can do that. So it was not really surprising to me, but I was just really happy, said Zhao.
After Zhao received her degree in applied linguistics from Columbia University, she began working at Carousel of Languages School in New York.
Their lessons included songs, conversations and story-telling. In addition, Arabellas two brothers are also taking Mandarin lessons at the school.
I love the fact that they are starting learning and thats always one of my dream because Chinese students fight so much to learn English for so many years and its really great to see that I am able to kind of spread it out, spread not only the language but also the culture, also everything about China. To put a little seed in their heart and to make it grow eventually. So I hope more and more kids can come to realize not just to learn the language but also try to understand another culture, said Zhao.
There are more than 400 students learning foreign languages in the school. A quarter of them are learning Chinese.
Patrizia Saraceni Corman, CEO of Carousel of Languages School, says its a huge investment in education.
I would say Mandarin has become more and more popular, because clearly theres an enormous trend right now with the Chinese market and also its a huge investment in education. So the foreign language study is really about the investment in their childs education, said Corman.
The two young members of the U.S. first family are joining a growing list of American celebrities including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Malia Obama, former President Barack Obamas daughter who take Chinese as their second language.
U.S. statistics show Chinese is the third most popular language in the country, only behind English and Spanish.