Author Archives: diparents

About diparents

Parents of children immersed in Mandarin and proponents of bilingual education.

Summer camp: Why kids should sing to learn Chinese

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“There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth. Listen first, speak later, then learn the grammar and write. Don’t rush into speaking. Learn the sounds of your languages first. It does not matter if at first you do not understand. You may start singing along without even knowing what you are singing. You are not only learning the rhythm of the language, you are learning new vocabulary.” — Polyglot author of “Language is Music,” Susanna Zaraysky.

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Utah Dual Immersion teacher, Alisa Wu is, once again, offering her popular “We Sing, We Learn,” music-based Chinese summer camp. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that she offers a rock-solid curriculum that engages kids and makes learning fun. More interesting –– and perhaps, persuasive –– is this excerpt from her website describing how her personal language-learning journey informs her teaching style:

Alisa grew up in Taiwan, where the native language is Mandarin. But “in response to an increasingly global economy, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education implemented policy, requiring schools to teach English (ESL) as a portion of their curriculum,” Wu’s website explains. At age 10, Wu struggled to engage with a “monotonous” English curriculum, it continues. “However, everything soon changed, as a teacher introduced the children to a popular American song, “Hello” by Lionel Richie, at the end of class one day. It was in that moment, as she found herself lost in the music, that she finally connected with the new language. She would translate the entire song that day, looking up every single word in the dictionary. She would never forget that day, and as the years passed, she became increasingly interested in a link between music and language, an interest that would influence both her education and her future. …As the years passed, Alisa enrolled at the Teacher’s college in Taiwan, where she was first introduced to the integration of activities and instruments in the classroom. The material that captivated her most, however, was the idea of transforming stories into songs; an idea that would first reveal, the ability for music and language to be taught together.”

Enrollment is open now for the week-long, split-day (morning and afternoon session) camps, which are held at Salt Lake Community College. You can find more information or register online at : www.wesingwelearn.com

Summer learning opportunity for Chinese teachers

The University of Utah’s Gateway to Learning Professional Development Summer Workshop program for K-12 teachers is hosting a comprehensive workshop called ‘Contemporary China’ that will run July 27th through 31st. The workshops are great for teachers looking to get college credit or relicensure credit to fulfill professional development requirements.
Information on the workshop program can be found here: http://thc.utah.edu/teacher-workshops/index.php

Summer camps abroad: Play with pandas in Chengdu

An interesting summer camp opportunity for your preteen:

Sino Language & Beyond has been a responsible and reliable immersion Chinese program provider for more than ten years. We take care of every detail of a summer Chinese camp to provide a great and safe learning experience to students. We remain dedicated to promoting cultural and educational exchange for young people between China and the U.S.

In the summer of 2015, students will have three options with two different locations to earn community service credits or to explore Chinese learning:

1. Volunteer with Pandas in Chengdu- Students can earn 55 community service hours.

2. Leadership & Service in Beijing- Students can obtain up to 80 community service hours.

3. Chinese Language & Culture, Beijing- Intensive Chinese learning at all levels and daily one-on-one oral practice with local students.

In addition, if there are more than EIGHT students in your school to participate one of our summer camps in 2015, the teacher/leader will be able to accompany students with the same trip free of charge. We will be very glad to provide more details about our summer camps in China, tailor-made school trips, as well as our TOTAL SOLUTION SERVICE.The relevant camp information, introduction and news about SLB are sent as attachments with this email.

Dear Vice Presidents, we appreciate your valuable time to view our outstanding summer camps in China, and to share this activity information with your students and parents through UMIC newsletter and by posting the camp information on your resource links.

Meanwhile, in order to convey our sincere support in your Chinese immersion program, Sino Language & Beyond will made a donation to your Chinese Immersion Program according to your students’ successful registration to our summer camps in China.

Please feel free to contact us (1-408-360 9958) at any time for any further information. And wish you have a wonderful working day and looking forward to hearing from you soon!!

Keep those Mandarin skills fresh at summer camp

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Two Mandarin teachers from Jordan School District are hosting a summer camp starting in June at a karate studio in Herriman, UT.

The half-day, week-long camps run Monday through Thursday in split sessions (morning and afternoon). By the looks of their website, they’re fun and affordable; $85 per week if you register by May 30.

Enrollment is now open. For more information see the following brochure, or email Glenn Lim-Anderson or Lay Kou at:  info@mandarinchineseacademy.com Chinese Summer Program-2  

Cultural exchange for elementary immersion students

Amanda Conklin, a parent at Wasatch Elementary is planning a trip for immersion students to Taiwan. Students can get penpals prior to going and they will be meeting at schools and doing other great activities. Please see the following for more details:

Dear Chinese Immersion Parents,

Su Ma Ma Chinese Club has initiated several large projects, with great success. Currently, one of these projects is the International Pen Pal Program. Students who participate in this program have fun sharing the culture with each other, not only by writing but also through themes that we talk about in class. Recently, one of our Taiwan Pen Pal Schools (Sagor School) visited Wasatch Elementary and Aspen Elementary. During this visit, the students from Taiwan participated in English classes and visited Chinese Immersion classes at the schools. Students from both countries enjoyed learning from each other. The teachers from Taiwan brought amazing lessons into the Chinese Immersion classes with storytelling and sciences. We are creating a similar experience for our students in Utah, and are planning a trip to Taiwan in June 2015. You can learn more about us by following us on Facebook at Su Ma Ma Chinese Club.

Benefits of this program trip to Taiwan:

  • We will visit most of our pen pal schools (Currently there are 8 Taiwanese schools participating).
  • Your children will be able to personally meet their pen pals.
  • Pen Pal Schools provide a safe learning environment and nice host families.
  • We will visit many beautiful national parks and cities.
  • We are providing a longer cultural experience with a very fair price.
  • Taiwan is a very safe and friendly country to visit. Taiwan has kept many Chinese traditions while adopting a westernized lifestyle.
  • Due to our Pen Pal School resources, we will be visiting Taiwan for 2015. In the future, we will provide similar program to China.

LEAF Cultural Exchange, LLC will help provide travel assistance by arranging airfare, transportation, food, host family, etc. The estimated cost of the trip will be approximately $2,850.00 to $3,400.00 for 4 weeks. A bigger group could help cut down the cost.

You are invited to attend a 90 minute informational meeting held at Provo School District Office PDC on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

(280 West 940 North, Provo, Ut, 84604)

If you are interested in this incredible cultural opportunity, please contact us and plan to attend this meeting.

Amanda ConklinSu Ma Ma Chinese Club

amandasuconklin@yahoo.com

801-979-3451

Dorian ConklinLeaf Cultural Exchange

dorian@leafculturalexchange.com

801-921-2303

This trip is not a school district or state sponsored event.

Su Ma Ma Chinese Club, LEAF Cultural Exchange and Pen Pal Schools in Taiwan are organizing this trip.

The Secret Garden, now in an easy-to-read version in Mandarin, and in print!

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

Those great Shanghai guys at The Mandarin Companion, Jared Turner & John Pasden, have taken their e-book* translation of The Secret Garden (a classic kids’ book) into Mandarin and turned it into a print book. While I really like the e-book version because you can click on words you don’t know and jump directly back to the vocabulary list, for many people I know a print book is a better “form factor” (to use the fancy Silicon Valley term.)

Either way, these are great ways to get kids reading in Chinese, they’d be especially good for middle school students as the stories have a little umph but they’re in easy-to-read Chinese.

You can buy it from Amazon, (I linked to the page where you can buy it) or go to the Mandarin Companion website to see all the various possibilities here.

And they’re working on Dickens’ Great Expectations, which is very cool. And it will…

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A cool site for Mandarin immersion students

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

This is a popular site at schools, but I think it’s not widely known among parents.

The cool thing about SnapLingo is that it’s real interaction with real Chinese kids, but it’s curated so you know your child is chatting safely. Kids will work a lot harder when they’re a real person, especially another kids, on the other end of the line. Check it out and report back whether your kids like it. I’m curious what they think.

You can see a video about how it works here.

Here’s their website.

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SnapLingo

Students from China and America share language and culture through SnapLingo, an interactive app that improves language abilities through fun photo posts and chat missions.

SnapLingo is a mobile social platform that connects students (age 7 – 15) from the USA and China.  SnapLingo matches students as language buddies to practice foreign language and teach each other their native…

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