Monthly Archives: December 2012

Looking for summer camp opportunities?

The Confucius Institute at the University of Utah is organizing a summer camp for Mandarin immersion students. They hope to stage it at three locations in Bountiful, Sandy and the U.’s SLC campus.

But other details are scarce because they’re in the beginning planning stages. They are seeking parent input, however.

Should it be an all-day or half-day camp that runs for a week or two weeks. Or should it run all summer long? Will parents commit to dropping off and picking up their kids? How much are they willing to spend – the more parents who sign up, the cheaper it will be, according to the Institute.

Share your comments here, or email me, and I’ll pass them along:


National Chinese Education Conference in SLC

Immersion educators from across the country will converge on Salt Lake City in March for a national conference at the University of Utah’s Confucius Institute.

When: March 2-3, 2013
Where: University Guest House and Conference Center, 110 S. Fort Douglas Blvd., SLC, UT 84112
What: In-depth workshops; best practices and hands-on teaching methods; immersion techniques benefit all classrooms; and delve into curriculum and literacy issues

The price to register is $250. For more information, click here.

How is language immersion impacting your child?

Jeongwoon (Erin) Kim, a Ph.D. candidate at BYU is asking that very question of parents. I know plenty of us can attest to the changes we see in our kids, the lessons learned beyond just acquiring another language. I distinctly remember one mother saying how the immersion experience taught her son the value of hard work. He’s one of those kids who excels at everything. Having to sweat through something new and challenging is teaching him a valuable life lesson. I’m eager to hear the results of this study – which is IRB-approved. For those of you who don’t know, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee designated to approve, monitor and review research on humans to ensure it adheres to certain ethical guidelines.

Participation requires a confidential, in-person interview. Below is more detailed information. If you’re interested in participating, fill out the form below and email it to Erin at,

Consent to be a Research Subject

This research study is being conducted by Jeongwoon Kim, a Ph.D. student in Instructional Psychology and Technology—Language Acquisition, at Brigham Young University to understand the impact of language immersion program on elementary school children from their parents’ perspective. John Hilton III, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU who has a Ph.D. in education, is a faculty advisor. You were invited to participate because your child(ren) is(are) enrolled in an elementary school language immersion program.


If you agree to participate in this research study, the following will occur:

  • you will be interviewed for approximately thirty minutes to an hour each time about your child(ren) and language immersion.
  • the interview will be audio recorded to ensure accuracy in reporting your statements
  • the interview will take place on BYU campus at a time convenient for you or it will take place at a time and location convenient for you
  • the researcher may contact you later to clarify your interview answers for approximately fifteen (15) minutes.
  • total time commitment will be thirty minutes to two hours.
  • you may be be interviewed once or twice more to accurately capture your perspective.

There are minimal risks for participation in this study. You may feel some discomfort when being audio recorded or talking about personal things. If you feel uncomfortable about answering a particular question, you may choose to decline or excuse yourself from the study.

There will be no direct benefits to you. It is hoped, however, that through your participation researchers may learn about the impact of language immersion in your child(ren)’s life and better them.


The research data will be kept in the researcher’s password-protected computer and only the researcher will have access to the data. At the conclusion of the study, all identifying information will be removed from the researcher’s personal computer and the data will be stored in the researcher’s locked cabinet/office.

There will be no direct compensation for participating in this study.


Participation in this research study is voluntary. You have the right to withdraw at any time or refuse to participate entirely.

Questions about the Research
If you have questions regarding this study, you may contact Jeongwoon Kim at (801)361-1766 or John Hilton III at (801-422-7394 for further information.

Questions about Your Rights as Research Participants
If you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant contact IRB Administrator at (801) 422-1461; A-285 ASB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602;

Statement of Consent
I have read, understood, and received a copy of the above consent and desire of my own free will to participate in this study.

Name (Printed): Signature Date:

Free read-along books in Mandarin

I haven’t had a chance to test these on my kids. But the Salt Lake County Library has a collection of audio books (TumbleBooks) that you can access online for FREE. Some of the books are available in Chinese, Spanish and Russian. You need Flash capability to access them. But rumor has it, they’re starting to make some compatible with the iPad.

Directions:  Go to

Then go to KidZone followed by Reading Corner. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and in the right hand corner, you’ll see an orange box with the heading, Read Along. Click on that and it will take you to a menu where you can pick story books, non-fiction books, and read-alongs. There are also great 1 or 2 min. video clips about a variety of subjects. You’ll find the Chinese books under, “Language Learning.”

Mandarin immersion classroom checklist

Parents have been asking about Chinese readers – what’s available in the classroom and where to buy them.

Below is a link to a list of readers that the Utah State Office of Education recommends every classroom have (you may have to click on it twice). These are readers that teachers should be sending home with students as homework (on loan to be returned). If you’re classroom falls short, you may want to bring the subject up with your principal. Each school is allotted money for supplies. In some districts this money goes directly to the school. In others, it goes to the district for distribution.

The state is also working in a series of readers that parents can purchase. Stay tuned – more on this in coming weeks/months.


Two must-do events for parents

Parent Workshop: Mandarin 101
Sarah Erwin, a parent at Lone Peak Elementary has put together a free, one-hour workshop on the basics: pinyin pronunciation, how to use a Chinese/English dictionary, parent-tested homework tips and more….

Where: Sandy Public Library
When: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.


AnneElise Xiao’s next Chinese Corner is on Saturday, Dec. 8th at 10:15 a.m. at the Sandy Library. The subject: asking for directions.

People have asked if these are always held in Sandy. The answer is, yes. But any parent can start their own Chinese Corner. Here’s how.

Chinese Corner Calendar
Dec 8      – Asking Directions
Dec 15     – No Class
Dec 22   – Asking For Help
Jan 5      – Taking about neighbors and Friends
Jan 19    –   No Class
Jan 26   –   Identifying People
Feb 9    –   Talk about Language
(Happy Chinese new years!/ Spring festival)
Feb 23   –   Talk about Activities
Mar 9    –    Talking with friends
Mar 23 –    Talking about the past
April 6   –   Asking Questions (Qing Ming Festival)
April 20 – Measuring and comparing
May 4    –    Asking for Help
May 18   –   Talking about the Weather
June 1   –     Marriage and Families
Jun 15   –    Planning the future (Dragon boat Festival)
June 29 –    Talk about Habits