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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!
We wanted to highlight a report by the Utah State Senate on Utah’s dual language immersion. It tells the story of how the immersion program came to be and links to several news reports about dual language immersion in Utah. Read the full report here and share with your friends!
Seeking: Part-Time Mandarin Teacher in Park City
Parley’s Park Elementary is looking for an after school Mandarin Teacher to fulfill our after school Foreign Language Program.
When : All classes are 3.15 – 4.00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Parley’s Park
Elementary. Monday, November 7th – Thursday, May 11th. No classes on scheduled school
● Teach 15 to 20 children, ages 6 – 12 years old, in basic vocabulary and language skills.
Children are not expected to be fluent, but familiar and exposed to the language.
● Run structured activities supported by materials and session plans.
● Support PPES Foreign Language Program Guidelines and Policies.
● Communicate with parents at drop-off and pick-up time.
1. Teaching Experience and/or Organized Group Learning Experience
2. Available to work scheduled dates.
3. Qualified candidates must have native command or native-level speaker in Mandarin
Chinese and English. With strong oral and written communication skills in both
languages including writing in Traditional and Simplified characters.
4. Expertise of Chinese customs and culture.
5. Ability to plan and implement creative, hands-on, and engaging lessons at various
6. Legal authorization to work in the USA and/or a Visa to work in the USA.
7. Back-ground check and fingerprinting to be completed upon hire.
8. 3 Letters of Recommendation confirming proficiency in Mandarin as well as reference.
● $40 Per class fee
Annie Cashiola, Foreign Language Chair
email@example.com or 512.632.8808
We recently received this announcement from the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Greater Salt Lake and would like to share it with you:
We are honored to have a group of orphans from Africa to come here to perform for free at Jordan High School in Sandy on 7/28.
The group will perform Chinese and African songs, dance, and Chinese martial arts
We need you or your PTA’s help to spread the word to your students and their families to come and watch this free performance to support these kids.
Here is a little background about this group:
These African orphans are sponsored and cared for by the Amitofo Charity Center, a Taiwanese charity in Africa.
The Amitofo Care Center (A.C.C.) (Amitofo Charity Center), which is comprised of an administration center, children’s dormitories, youth dormitories, preparatory school, kindergarten, library, activity center, medical center, vocational training center, religious center, CBO, etc. is founded and directed by Buddhist clergy from the East with an aspiration and mission to directly rear and care for orphans of Africa within the humanitarian and educational umbrella.
ACC’s compassionate and philanthropic foot-prints have been left not only in South Africa but also in Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Lilongwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Bloemfontein, etc. As well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, and several United State countries. The total of orphans that ACC has adopted to date number around 8,000.
We invite you to take ten minutes to take the first-ever national survey of Mandarin immersion families. Our goal is to help programs nationwide better understand what parents want out of these programs and how they’re doing.
The link is:
So before you head off to summer fun, take a moment to think about how the year in your Mandarin immersion school has gone.
The survey is being conducted by a Ph.D. language researcher and a long-time Mandarin immersion parent and writer. We are:
Jeongwoon Kim, a Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow studying language acquisition at Kyunghee University, Korea. She earned her Ph.D. in Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University.
Elizabeth Weise, a parent of two children who’ve been in Mandarin immersion a total of 14 years now. She is the author of A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion and lives in San Francisco, California. She is also the creator of the
Mandarin Immersion Parents Council website at http://www.miparentscouncil.org.
Our goal is to gather information about why families choose Mandarin immersion and what their experiences are once their children are attending the program.
We’ll submit the resulting academic article to the Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. Upon publication, we will also post a non-academic, parent-focused article in Weise’s blog.
There are just 35 questions. It takes between 5 – 10 minutes to complete.
We also ask that you please pass it along to other families you know who have students in Mandarin immersion, as well as families who have left Mandarin immersion programs. Ideally we’d like to have most of the programs in the country represented. If you’ve got a school or program list serve, please send it along!
Again, that link is: