We recently received an email from Donald Apy, a Chinese immersion parent in Fresno, CA. He shared some resources that students at his child’s school are using that you might find helpful. He writes:
For vocabulary, our children use Arch Chinese (emphasizes character writing) and Yellow Bridge (lookup using pinyin), and some have purchased the Wenlin software. Our parent group purchased iChinese Reader for our school this year. The teachers like the dashboard, and kids like earning points for games.
A little more unique, a parent recently alerted us to an offer from a new Amazon Prime Channel called Miao Mi. The creators are asking parents to evaluate the channel and provide feedback…and the offer is available to any parent who is interested in giving input to a new product. Below are the details. It is geared mostly toward parents with children ages 3-7 (pre-school to 1st grade). Interested parents can go to http://www.miaomi-tv.com/ and click on the link to be directed to Amazon to sign up free for 7 days. There are 4 channels — the first 2 are in English and the second 2 are in Mandarin. Start with Miao Mi Classroom to learn a few words in Mandarin (instruction is in English), then select a show to view in Mandarin and then view its equivalent English version. After you have reviewed the shows, you can provide feedback using the google form at Miao Mi Parent Feedback. You can also navigate to the channel on Amazon (requires signup for Amazon Prime): Amazon Videos –> Channels (See all channels) → Kids & Family –> Miao Mi.
It’s fun to see the great ideas percolating up!
A top-ranked education journal* in the US just published a study on the efficacy of immersion learning on student performance. The article is open-access and is available here.
Some key findings:
“We find that students randomly assigned to immersion outperform their peers on state accountability tests in reading by about seven months of learning in Grade 5 and nine months of learning in Grade 8. Examining mathematics and science scores, we find no statistically significant immersion benefit but also no detriment. This is important given that students receive 25% to 100% of their mathematics and science instruction in the partner language through Grade 5.”
WOW! By 8th grade DLI students are almost a full year ahead of their peers in their English reading. No detriment on math and science. Plus they are bilingual! This is a PHENOMENAL finding. Children can be bilingual without having any adverse impact on other aspects of their education.
More from the article: “What is clear is that among students randomly assigned to immersion, those whose native language matches the partner language show a 6 percentage point reduction in the probability of being classified as an English Learner as of about fifth grade and a 14 point reduction in sixth grade. This finding corroborates other research showing an immersion advantage in English Learner reclassification beyond the early grades.”
In other words, students who native language is not English also have significant benefits from DLI VS non-native English speakers who are not in DLI.
This is cutting edge research that needs to be shared!
*The American Educational Research Journal is the flagship journal of the American Educational Research Association. This is one of the best education research journals in the world!