Tag Archives: Utah

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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Utah Mom Organizes “Mandarin-only” outings for kids

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Krissy Shull from Alpine had a great idea to organize mini, “Mandarin-only” field trips to some of our local parks, museums and other attractions. This is a great opportunity to give students a chance to practice their Chinese in a relaxed atmosphere with other students from across the state. And through recognition that other kids are learning Mandarin, too, it could serve to reinforce the fun and importance of being bilingual. Shull says her tour group is open to anyone wanting to participate. Or parents can start their own tour groups.

She’ll post dates and times on this Facebook page. Here are some details on the first outing:

When: Tuesday August 4, 2015 @ 1:30pm
Where: Thanksgiving Point Museum of Natural Curiosity
3605 Garden Dr, Lehi, UT 84043
Cost: $2/person ($2 Tuesday price for the month of August)

Instructions:
Plan to get in line around 1:30 p.m. Each family will go through the museum independently or can group together. To encourage the children to interact with other Mandarin speakers you may want to have them bring 10 pieces of colored paper with their Chinese name written on them (2″ X 2″ may work well) to exchange with other Mandarin speakers. Your family may want to wear something with Chinese writing, etc, to help identify yourselves as a part of the Mandarin speaking group.

About the Museum:
The Museum of Natural Curiosity is a large glass-walled building housing more than 400 science- & nature-themed interactive exhibits.

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!

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.

Teaching Chinese in rural Utah

“Our faculty just weren’t ready for it,” said a Utah kindergarten teacher about Utah’s Chinese immersion program in a recent NPR story.

“A lot of them weren’t dual immersion teachers, so a lot of them had — not bitter feelings, but they didn’t want to have any part of any type of a language program at all,” explains Jackie Fonnesbeck, a teacher at Arrowhead Elementary in the Southern Utah town of Santa Clara.

Fonnesbeck was a doubter, too. She told NPR: “I was very worried about the math, because that’s where they’re learning the basics, and I felt like they needed to have a good, strong base in English before they learn it in Chinese.”

But “three years into the program, Arrowhead’s immersion skeptics have become its greatest fans,” NPR reports. “Test scores for immersion students at the school are slightly higher than they are for non-immersion kids. There’s a waiting list to get into the program. And the school’s teachers – even the English language ones — are now big supporters.”

Click here to read more (you’ll be glad you did).