China Daily credits Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Sandy, for revamping Utah’s education system by sponsoring legislation to create the nation’s first state-sponsored dual immersion language program.
And…”It all began with a trip to China in 2006,” says the newspaper. Today 13,000 Utah students speak Mandarin, the highest ratio in the US, the June 27 article says:
“And the person who made that trip and then changed education profoundly in Utah and potentially in the United States is Howard Stephenson, a Utah state Senator since 1992.
‘I was stunned by the higher knowledge level of the Chinese high school and college students during my conversations with them. Their dream for better life, their drive and ambition, their depth of world knowledge gave me such an impression that as a state senator, I was deeply concerned about our education system after I talked to them,’ said Stephenson in a recent interview with China Daily.
‘Our (American) children would never grow up and become world leaders if we do not take initiative to learn other languages and cultures immediately, especially Chinese language; and we as a country would not sustain our world leader position if our next generation does not step up.'”
You can find the full version of the article, here.
Utah has more public school-based Mandarin immersion programs than any other state. We are the hometown of Jon Huntsman, former US Ambassador to China, Utah Governor and presidential candidate (also the father of an adopted Chinese girl).
And now this: Which is the most common country of origin for Utah immigrants, besides Mexico? You guessed it. China, according to this map drawn up by Slate using Homeland Security data.
American kids enjoy early Chinese learning
In a classroom decorated with paintings featuring Chinese folk tales and cute symbols ofChinese characters, a dozen of local children, from five to eight years old, are performingpopular Chinese songs, such as “Daddy, where are we going” and “Stars in the Sky.”
Anna, a seven-year-old girl, has studied Chinese for two years in the Confucius Classroomof Washington Yuying Public Charter School, a Chinese-immersion educationorganization.
Founded in 2008, the school is aimed to inspire and prepare kids to create a better worldby challenging them to reach their full potential in a nurturing Chinese educationalenvironment.
So far, the school’s steady development and great progress of its Chinese-immersionteaching model have captured widespread attention.
From Monday to Friday every week, Anna spends two hours learning Chinese here,enjoying the charm of the language by writing characters, playing games, and reciting the”Three Character Primer,” or San Zi Jing, one of the ancient Chinese classic texts.
Please read more here.
Been waiting for this book for some time. Congratulations to author Elizabeth Weise, who like all great inventors, saw a need and filled it. Wish I had thought of it first 🙂
UPDATE: Some folks have asked about pre orders on Amazon. I can’t set that up until I’ve created the book on the Amazon site, which won’t happen for another month. But believe me, I’ll get the word out once it’s ready!
Here’s the final cover. And I’m handing off the entire manuscript to the designer on Thursday. Hoping to have it available as an Amazon ebook as well as a print-on-demand book in August in time for school to start.