Tag Archives: Chinese

How Utah celebrates Chinese New Year

Thanks to the University of Utah’s Confucius Institute for providing this summary of Chinese New Year events:

  • Most immediately, on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 12:15 p.m. there will be a Chinese Cultural Celebration at the City Library in downtown Salt Lake (see details below).
  • On Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 p.m. Cottonwood High School will host its annual Chinese New Year Cultural Performance.
  • As we mentioned before, Lehi High School’s popular and well-established celebration will be held at the school on Monday, Feb. 15th at 5 p.m. Admission is $2 per person.
  • And on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 4-7 p.m. Jordan High School will host a “Year of the Monkey” spring festival. Admission is $2 (see details below).

City Library in downtown Salt Lake

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Come celebrate ‘Year of the Monkey’ at Lehi High

Lehi High’s Chinese students are hosting their annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Monday, Feb. 15th at 5 p.m. Admission is $2 per person. From 5-6:45 p.m. there will be about 25 booths with Chinese cultural activities and crafts for kids of all ages, followed by a short program with a Lion Dance and Dragon Dance at 7 p.m. Restaurants will be on hand to sell food—cash only. New activities this year include: knot tying, jump rope, fan dance, button making and much more.

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Chinese most widely spoken native language

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The Washington Post just published this fascinating series of info-graphics illuminating some surprising facts about language, diversity and global populations. What I love about this series are the layers of complexity. The story isn’t all that long, but it challenges us to question misconceptions about the dominance of English. Chinese, for example, has more native speakers than any other language, followed by Hindi and Urdu,” WAPO reports. English comes next, followed by Arabic and then Spanish.

But cut the numbers differently, and you get a new perspective. We’ve all heard that America is a great melting pot, but it is far from the most linguistically diverse country or continent. Africa wins that distinction.

English is widely used as an official language. It is spoken in more countries than anywhere else and it the most studied.

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But the most languages are spoken by only a handful of people, and are at risk of disappearing in 100 years, says WAPO.

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Last Chance Chinese Summer Camp

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Apologies for this late post — I thought it had already published.

But it may not be too late to sign up for the Confucius Institute’s annual summer camp (for grades 2-6), running from July 27-31. There are several locations this year, including the University of Utah’s Salt Lake City and Bountiful campuses, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah Valley University in Orem, and Dixie State University in St. George. You can enroll online at: www.youth.utah.edu.

See the attached for more information:

Chinese Immsion Campus Flyer (Wasatch Front)

Chinese Immsion Campus Flyer (St George)

Is American educating its kids for the past or the future?

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Stumbled across this incredible report on globalization by the Asia Society. I’ve included a brief summary below with links to more. But the three points that stick out for me:

  • America’s markets are mostly abroad. Ninety-five percent of consumers and three-quarters of the world’s purchasing power are outside U.S. borders.
  • Globalization means domestic job growth. One out of every five American jobs is currently tied to international trade. Twenty-four states have seen greater than 100 percent growth over a 20-year period; some states, like Maine, are approaching 200 percent job growth in this sector.
  • America is educating its students for the past, not the future. In California, for instance, only 15 percent of students learn a foreign language, and the vast majority does not go beyond an introductory level.

From the report:

Asia Society, together with Longview Foundation and SAS, released Mapping the Nation, an interactive map that shows how 3,000 U.S. counties are connected globally. It also uses available education data that points to a dearth of knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the global economy. One thing is clear: there is a tremendous gap between demand for a globally competent workforce, and the supply that is currently coming out of America’s schools and universities.

The real lesson here is this is not the responsibility of the education system alone. It takes a clear understanding of America’s economic and demographic context, as well as public and political will, to give educators the support they need to help keep the United States and its workforce strong.”

Tips for keeping your Chinese skills fresh over the summer

John Hilton, one UMIPC’s parent leaders, compiled this newsletter with valuable tips for constructive ways to spend the dog days of summer. 

We’ve shared information about various summer camps on this blog. Here are more options, courtesy of Hilton, for families in Utah County: Check out learning opportunities from Nathan Abbott (http://mylotusacademy.com), Brittney Phelps (www.summerimmersion.com) and Amanda Conklin (https://www.facebook.com/SuMaMaChineseClub).

I’m posting the rest of his newsletter below. You can sign up to receive copies of our newsletter here.

Aside from summer camps, there are many resources you can use in the summer time to keep your child’s skills fresh. You could have your child practice on Quizlet sites his/her teacher has sent home throughout the year (or they could try these HSK Quizlets).

There are some great books available on Amazon that would work for children who have completed third grade – like the story about two children who seek a bridge to another world. Some of the books in the series are available inexpensively on Ebay (or used on Amazon). You might also consider hiring older immersion students (4-6 graders) to come read to younger readers or do Chinese games with them. It is possible that for a very low cost you could stimulate some good Chinese activity.

Last summer parents at one school hosted a weekly Chinese movie activity in which children could come to the school and watch a feature film in Chinese (many of the Chinese teachers will have access to these types of films). Something like that could be a great benefit to many.

Good luck this summer! We know the teachers will be working hard to prepare for the fall. Also, if you missed it previously, here is the latest information regarding Utah State’s secondary immersion plans. Parents of 5th and 6th graders may want to be in touch with their respective districts to learn more about the secondary plans in their area. We are very lucky to have such a great immersion program in Utah!

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