Please read more here.
All the research about language learning boils down to two things—if you spend time speaking and reading, you’ll get better fast.
But reading, for kids in immersion, isn’t a slam dunk because there simply aren’t all that many things available in Chinese simple enough for them to read. They’re starting to be published but it’s not quite the smorgasbord any American child takes for granted at the local library.
One of the places it’s starting to come together is 5QChannel, a website for learning Chinese based in Taiwan. It was originally created to help overseas learners, mostly the kids of Taiwanese expats, keep up with their Chinese. But as the demand for material that works for American kids who are learning Chinese grows, 5QChannel has added pages that work for English-speaking students learning Chinese as well.
I recently met with Tseng Jr-Shi, the creator of the web site, as he was visiting schools in the United States. The poor man. I nearly talked his ear off talking about the need for interesting, fun and enticing stories in Chinese that immersion students can read for pleasure. He was eager to hear how our children learn Chinese and what sorts of things they, and their schools, are looking for.
The site is becoming easier to use for parents who don’t read Chinese They’ve now got a nice FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page up in English.
You can also sign up for the blog and get updates—I’m hoping if enough of us do they’re realize what a great market we are and add more quickly.
Click the characters at the bottom of the third tile to the right on the home page, the one with what looks like a lion emperor jumping up in a blaze of light. From there you’ll see a bunch of videos the site has created.
On the FAQ there’s a link to sign up for a free 30 day trial subscription. Let your kids play around on the site to see if they like the stories. If so, you can email them to get the U.S. parent discount, which is $25 per year.
Schools are also signing up for the site and using the videos and stories, so it’s possible your kids already know it from school.
Finally, they’ve got a good lineup of iPad apps available. These are great to have in the car or when kids are bored. Instead of playing games, they can watch a few cartoons in Chinese. They learn, they have fun and it’s yet another ten minutes of Mandarin time—a win-win in my book!
This is a book that might be of interest to teachers and program administrators, from the folks at the Center for Applied Linguistics.
Based on a 21st century approach to academic literacy that is aligned with today’s rigorous standards, this resource provides research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help educators develop effective classroom activities. Developing Academic Literacy and Language in the Content Areas focuses on helping English learners develop academic literacy and language skills while also developing content knowledge. The components are described below and include a comprehensive workbook supported by authentic classroom video and two complete unit plans on CD-ROM. 2014
Here’s another one. This is on Sheltered Instruction, which is how kids in immersion are taught material in the Mandarin.
Learning the SIOP Model is a practical, hands-on tool for educators to learn more about the SIOP Model and how to use it with greater effectiveness. It can be used by those who are new to the SIOP Model and by those who are already familiar with it and are seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their implementation.
Learning the SIOP Model has two components: a DVD with authentic classroom video and a companion viewers guide with information for viewing the video and hands-on resources for use in professional development and in the classroom.
This is College Park Elementary School’s annual Friends of Mandarin Scholars Gala Fundraiser.
Pretty impressive. And I say that not because they invited me to be one of their “special guests” (I’m nowhere near glamorous enough, clearly.) But for a program that’s in a public school and launched only in 2007, they’ve done a tremendous job of raising money to support the program, which is school-wide.
(In answer to someone who posed a question on a previous blog post, I’m happy to come speak at schools that are within driving distance of San Francisco, but anything else would be hard to pull off unless parents wanted to pay for the travel. But then I’d feel guilty as the money should probably go to your school instead.)
New York City Education Department to Add or Expand 40 Dual-Language Programs
The New York City Education Department plans to expand dual-language programs offered in public schools, using the orchestra of local languages to spread bilingual little symphonies across the five boroughs — and perhaps to attract more middle-class families to poorer schools in the process.
Carmen Fariña, the city’s schools chancellor, announced the plan on Wednesday, saying that citywide, 40 dual-language programs for elementary, middle and high school levels would be created or expanded for the 2015-16 school year.
In each of the programs, which aim to teach students to read, write and speak in two languages, half the students will be English speakers and half will already speak the other language of the classroom. A vast majority of the programs will be in Spanish, but there will also be some in Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, French and Haitian-Creole.
Please read more here.
Wednesday hearing on Mandarin immersion charter school
by Barbara Wood / Almanac
The public will have another chance to comment about the Mandarin immersion charter school proposed for the Menlo Park City School District when the San Mateo County Board of Education holds a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the San Mateo County Office of Education at 101 Twin Dolphin Drive in Redwood City.
Backers of the proposed Menlo Mandarin Immersion Charter School appealed to the county board following the district’s November decision to deny their petition to start a new charter school within the district.
After a presentation by the board’s attorney, Claire Cunningham, the board will hear a 20-minute presentation from backers of the charter school and then a 20-minute presentation by the school district. After questions from the board, members of the public will be allowed to speak for a maximum of two minutes each.
Please read more here.