Tag Archives: Mandarin

Mandarin – is it as tough to learn as they say?

I couldn’t help but laugh while reading this Economist blog post. It pretty much mirrors conversations I’ve had with my 3rd grade Mandarin learner.

Wonder how other parents feel about the pace at which their kids appear to be picking up the language. Is our kids’ time better spent in an immersion program, or in an overseas study abroad program?

The latter option isn’t something everyone could afford or manage, of course. Just food for thought.

Chinese summer camps proliferating in Utah

We announced a few weeks back that the University of Utah’s Confucius Institute is organizing a Chinese language summer camp, possibly this year. We will have more details in the next week, or two.

But here’s another opportunity to keep your kids’ Mandarin skills fresh over the long, hot summer months:

Utah’s Chinese Immersion Program director Sandy Talbot won a STARTALK grant this year that will enable school districts to sponsor a summer reading program for kids currently enrolled in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades.

School districts will announce details soon. But here’s a sneak peek.

The program will kick off sometime in June with a week-long Mandarin storytelling festival. Enrollment will be limited. But…here’s the good part….teachers will record the books and make the recordings, along with the books, available online for everyone for free.

Stay tuned for more.

Fun with the Chinese Zodiac

Thanks to Ms. Chou at Ridgecrest for passing along these youtube videos – a little something to mark the Chinese New Year.

Chinese Zodiac Song

Chinese Zodiac Story

The 12 Animal Zodiac

Chinese Characters:
The Story of Chinese Character : 人

The Story of Chinese Character : 大

The Story of Chinese Character : 小

The Story of Chinese Character : 日

The Story of Chinese Character : 月

The Story of Chinese Character : 天

The Story of Chinese Character : 口

The Story of Chinese Character : 看

The Story of Chinese Character : 水

The Story of Chinese Character : 心

The Story of Chinese Character : 木

The Story of Chinese Character : 手

Looking for summer camp opportunities?

The Confucius Institute at the University of Utah is organizing a summer camp for Mandarin immersion students. They hope to stage it at three locations in Bountiful, Sandy and the U.’s SLC campus.

But other details are scarce because they’re in the beginning planning stages. They are seeking parent input, however.

Should it be an all-day or half-day camp that runs for a week or two weeks. Or should it run all summer long? Will parents commit to dropping off and picking up their kids? How much are they willing to spend – the more parents who sign up, the cheaper it will be, according to the Institute.

Share your comments here, or email me, and I’ll pass them along: kirstendstewart@gmail.com


Free read-along books in Mandarin

I haven’t had a chance to test these on my kids. But the Salt Lake County Library has a collection of audio books (TumbleBooks) that you can access online for FREE. Some of the books are available in Chinese, Spanish and Russian. You need Flash capability to access them. But rumor has it, they’re starting to make some compatible with the iPad.

Directions:  Go to http://www.slcolibrary.org/

Then go to KidZone followed by Reading Corner. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and in the right hand corner, you’ll see an orange box with the heading, Read Along. Click on that and it will take you to a menu where you can pick story books, non-fiction books, and read-alongs. There are also great 1 or 2 min. video clips about a variety of subjects. You’ll find the Chinese books under, “Language Learning.”

Two must-do events for parents

Parent Workshop: Mandarin 101
Sarah Erwin, a parent at Lone Peak Elementary has put together a free, one-hour workshop on the basics: pinyin pronunciation, how to use a Chinese/English dictionary, parent-tested homework tips and more….

Where: Sandy Public Library
When: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.


AnneElise Xiao’s next Chinese Corner is on Saturday, Dec. 8th at 10:15 a.m. at the Sandy Library. The subject: asking for directions.

People have asked if these are always held in Sandy. The answer is, yes. But any parent can start their own Chinese Corner. Here’s how.

Chinese Corner Calendar
Dec 8      – Asking Directions
Dec 15     – No Class
Dec 22   – Asking For Help
Jan 5      – Taking about neighbors and Friends
Jan 19    –   No Class
Jan 26   –   Identifying People
Feb 9    –   Talk about Language
(Happy Chinese new years!/ Spring festival)
Feb 23   –   Talk about Activities
Mar 9    –    Talking with friends
Mar 23 –    Talking about the past
April 6   –   Asking Questions (Qing Ming Festival)
April 20 – Measuring and comparing
May 4    –    Asking for Help
May 18   –   Talking about the Weather
June 1   –     Marriage and Families
Jun 15   –    Planning the future (Dragon boat Festival)
June 29 –    Talk about Habits

Parent Workshop: Mandarin 101

You don’t have to know Mandarin to support your dual immersion learner. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. Sarah Erwin, a parent at Lone Peak Elementary has put together a free, one-hour workshop on the basics: pinyin pronunciation, how to use a Chinese/English dictionary, parent-tested homework tips and more….

The first class is today, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Draper Public Library. But don’t fret – if you miss it, you’ll have three more chances:

Draper Public Library
Nov. 29 6:30 p.m.

Sandy Public Library
Monday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

If you’re coming to the Dec. 4 meeting, Sarah asks that you RSVP, because the room has limited space, chineseimmersionhelper@gmail.com

Christmas is coming!

Discounted Rosetta Stone Subscriptions Available Now

If someone on your holiday shopping list is interested in learning a world language, consider this great deal for a stocking stuffer: A subscription to Rosetta Stone.

For the third consecutive year, Canyons is partnering with Rosetta Stone to offer students, their families, and District employees an opportunity to buy heavily discounted subscriptions to Rosetta Stone for 2013.

The subscriptions run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

This offer, available now through Dec. 14, 2012, makes available all online levels of Rosetta Stone for $95. A renewal fee for those who participated last year also is $95.

Languages include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dari, Dutch, English, Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Latin America), Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

For your convenience, you can purchase a subscription on the Canyons District Web site.  
Questions? Call the Evidence-Based Learning Department at 801-826-5045.