Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bilingual celebrities

“What do Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, and Mila Kunis have in common,” asks Parade Magazine. “They’re all bilingual!”

OK, I usually avoid celebrity “news” stories like the plague. But I couldn’t resist this one. Parade Magazine says:
“Sandra Bullock is fluent in German. Her mother was a German opera singer, and Bullock lived with relatives in Germany and Austria for several years as a child.”

Who knew?

Texas, where everything is big, even the Mandarin immersion schools

A comprehensive argument for a Texas-sized immersion program by Elizabeth Weise at MIPC. What is Houston doing right?

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

Houston bannerHouston, where everything is big, even the Mandarin immersion schools

By Elizabeth Weise

To the rest of the country this might seem like an odd statement, but here goes. If you were going to design the best public Mandarin immersion school you possibly could, it would probably look a lot like the one that launched in September of 2012—in Houston, Texas.

Houston? Really.

Yes, Houston. Really. When the Houston Independent School District decided to create a Mandarin immersion school it didn’t do as many districts do:

  • Houston didn’t make Mandarin a single strand in a larger school, making it impossible for the school’s culture to focus on Chinese.
  • Houston didn’t put just one classroom per grade in, which makes for tiny classes in the upper grades as students move, often requiring a difficult to teach fourth/fifth split grade class.
  • Houston didn’t place it as one small strand in a larger…

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More Utah middle-schooler’s choosing Chinese

UPR profiles growth in popularity of Chinese in middle school. An excerpt:

“Lehi Junior High School Chinese teacher Natasha Tanner…started the Chinese program at the school two years ago.

‘I always try to teach my kids to be ‘yǒu bàn fǎ’ students which means students that are problem solvers, that have a can-do attitude.’

After starting the Chinese program from scratch with no students, Natasha now has 168 students signed up for Chinese 1 and Chinese 2 language classes next year.

Part of that success comes from Chinese immersion programs that can be found in schools across the state. Utah alone has one-third of all Chinese immersion programs in the country.”


Host a student from China

The Center for High School Global Alliances is looking for families in the Murray/Sandy area to host high school age students from China from July 25 – August 8, 2013

Introduction to Hosting a Chinese Student
The Chinese students are coming to practice their English and to learn about American culture. The most effective way for these students to get this experience is by living with an American host family.

What does a host family do?
• Provide a safe, comfortable environment for a student who would live with your family for 15 days while he or
she visits Utah from July 25 – August 8, 2013.
• Provide meals* such as breakfast and dinner with your family most days and all 3 meals during the weekends.
Students will be home during the evening and on the weekends.
• Drop off and pick up students at Murray/Sandy (SLCC Miller Conference Center 9750 S 300 W, Sandy) each week day and make sure they are able to attend any other scheduled activities. During the day, the student will be attending English classes and other activities. You will receive a schedule of the student’s activities should you decide to host.

In general, you will go about your life as usual. The students are here to learn about American culture and to see how real American families live, so you don’t need to make any special changes in your life or schedule. Of course, since the students will only be in Utah for just over two weeks, and for many of them this will be their first time visiting the United States, they will be grateful to you if you plan a few family activities during their stay with you.

How can you become a host family?
1. Contact David Morgan (below) and request an application.
2. Schedule a time for a quick (5-10 minute) in-home visit by a Host Family Coordinator.
3. A Host Family Coordinator will contact you to provide you with more detailed and updated info. Keep an eye out for updated information and official schedules via email. (Occasionally an email may end up in your junk mail.)
4. If you have any questions or need more information contact our Host Family Director:

David Morgan

Thank you for considering this opportunity to serve and to be enriched!

*Gas and food reimbursement available upon request.
Center for High School Global Alliances 1-801-979-9804

Why one mom’s son is quitting Chinese school

One of the great side benefits of Chinese immersion is it exposes you to another culture. Getting to know some of our guest teachers from Taiwan and China has been an eye-opener for me, especially as I’ve come to better know the Chinese educational system.

For a great first-person account of what it’s like to attend school in China, check out this blog written by a travel writer/ mom who crosses the globe with her 11-year-old boy.

After three months attending a Chinese school her son has decided to call it quits. Learning the language hasn’t been easy. But the source of his angst is the back-breaking rigors of Chinese education – 70 hours a week of fast-pace instruction with little time after school or on weekends for hanging with friends.