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!
Nathan Abbott (aka “Mr. Ou”), the fabulous first grade teacher at Cascade Elementary, will be sponsoring Chinese summer camps via his Lotus Academy and also adult learning opportunities. The website with more information is http://mylotusacademy.yolasite.com.
Amanda Conklin (“Su Ma ma”) has been doing a really great book club for students at Wasatch Elementary. She will be doing summer day camps, story times and book clubs. For more information, email email@example.com.
A new startup company called Cube Incubators (https://cubeincubators.com/passport/#passport) is sponsoring learning opportunities starting at the end of June. Their program welcomes your children to come to their learning center and connect with children in China via interactive online games.
The Confucius Institute is also going to sponsor a summer camp that (from what I hear) will be somewhat similar to StarTalk has been in the past. Includes language instruction and other activities. Registration for the UVU sessions has not opened yet, but you can see information here: https://continue.utah.edu/youth/chinese_immersion_camp.
An organization called “Global Partners in Education” is bringing about 40 elementary school students from China to America during July 21-31. They will meet daily at Cascade Elementary and receive instruction (in English) on science and mathematics topics. The class will be open to all English-speaking students and there will be different sessions available (9-12 or 1-4, each costing $120). Mary Ann O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org could answer registration questions.
If you hear of other organized summer camps, please let me know and I will post them on our website (https://utahimmersioncouncil.org/).
The University of Utah’s Confucius Institute is now taking registrations for its summer abroad program. The Summer Scholars Study Abroad (June 5th-July 4th, 2014) is open to High School Students (9th-12th grade) who will have completed at least 2 years of Chinese by the time of the trip.
Participants will fly in to Beijing and spend the first two weeks studying either at Beijing No. 4 High School (a highly prestigious High School) or Nankai University in Tianjin, then spend two more weeks at Sichuan University in Chengdu. Students will participate in intensive Chinese study Monday through Friday, with recreational/educational excursions on the weekends.
The trip is estimated to cost $3700 (not including food; with the current exchange ratio 1:0.16). Scholarships are available for students at the Annual BYU Language Fair in April. The Confucius Institute is applying for a grant funding in January to subsidize student costs. There will also be service opportunities in the summer working as teacher aides for elementary Chinese language summer camps for those who choose to participate, which will also offset costs. The institute also encourages students to work with their school community or Chinese class for fundraising; for example, a Chinese New Year activity with charged admission.
Spots are limited to 15 students, and will be granted on a first come first serve basis to qualified students. Students will also need to provide a teacher recommendation from their current Chinese teacher.
A great post by our sister organization in San Francisco with recommendations for where to obtain grade-appropriate books in Mandarin.
Featured are grade-level readers produced by our own Brigham Young University and http://www.chinasprout.com – the official bookseller of my kids’ school.
I would also direct you to the online STARTALK summer reading camp, which features video and audio “read along” versions of Mandarin books, organized by grade level. Also available is an English translation for parents and online and printable activities.