Skip to content

A great example of how to promote & explain a program

April 24, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 7.07.46 AM

The road map for the Mandarin immersion program in the Forest Hills Public Schools, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I recently ran across the web page for the Forest Hills Mandarin immersion program in Grand Rapids, a town in Western Michigan and wanted to give them a shout out. They launched in 2008 and will have their first class enter high school in the fall of 2017.

I especially like the “road map” they provide which clearly lays out how the program works from Kindergarten through high school, describing how it works in each grade  and where the schools are – and where students can veer off.

This is all too often a mystery in many school districts, with nowhere to go to clearly see the full program and only parent lore to explain it. Kudos to Forest Hills for being so helpful and transparent.

You can see their full web page here.

An interesting article about prejudice against Asians

April 19, 2017

This is an interesting read. I have white friends in Cupertino who sent their kids to private schools because their local public schools were “too intense” for them. So I’ve certainly see this at work.

On the other hand, I wonder if racism is exactly the right word. Perhaps culturalism? Perhaps something else? Certainly I’ve seen the same debate around intensity play itself out in Mandarin immersion schools between Chinese-Americans who have been in the United States for two or three or more generations and recently-immigrated Chinese families.

I remember one parent, a fourth-generation Chinese-American doctor married to a third-generation Chinese-American engineer, who said to me after a heated meeting about how many characters the kids were learning, “Wow, that’s the first time I’ve ever been called lazy and someone who didn’t care about my kids’ education.”

And then there was the white mom I met on school tours in San Francisco who wouldn’t even look at public schools that didn’t have a high percentage of Asian students, because she was actively seeking the academic intensity they brought with them.

All of which is only to say that families in Mandarin immersion schools need to be very aware of what we ourselves bring to the table, so we don’t unconsciously (or consciously) add prejudice to the mix.

 

 

Ghosts of White People Past: Witnessing White Flight From an Asian Ethnoburb

If diversity is so important to liberal whites, why do they keep fleeing ethnically diverse suburbia?

By Anjali Enjeti

(Photo Credit: Charlie Essers/Flickr)

For the first time in my life, I am not a racial minority when I move to Johns Creek, Georgia. People from myriad cultures, ethnicities, religions, and nationalities deem this patch of earth home. Persian and Indian markets bookend strip malls. Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Korean, and Chinese restaurants perch on the corners of major intersections.

One blustery winter morning, I tour a preschool for my then-youngest child. The director, a petite woman with light brown hair, greets me warmly in the foyer, hands me a pamphlet describing the classes, the curriculum, the school’s philosophy. At the end of the tour, she asks if I have any questions. I shake my head, thank her for her time, and open the glass door to the parking lot when she calls out in a cautionary tone: “This area has changed quite a bit in the past few years. It’s really, really different.”

Please read more here.

Drop-off in students studying Chinese in colleges

April 17, 2017
   Not to cast a pall over parents with young children in immersion programs, but it’s interesting to see what’s happening ten years down the academic line.
   That said, the world our children will find themselves is likely to be very different. If you have a first grader in Mandarin immersion today, they will graduate from college in in 2033 – and everything about today’s geo-security situation and economy will be different.
   And of course as we always say, there are multiple reasons why it’s a great thing to have bilingual children, even if they don’t ever work in China. So take this with a grain of salt but also realize that things change.
   – Beth
April 15, 2017 11:00 am JST

American students lose interest in China studies

From: The Nikkei Asian Review

Concerns about pollution, work opportunities take toll on enrollment

PAUL MOONEY, Contributing writer

Some observers say that study abroad programs in China need to address student demand for internships and work opportunities, not just focus on language and culture.(Courtesy CET Academic Programs)

BERKELEY, U.S. – Early in his presidency, Barack Obama set a goal to vastly increase the number of Americans studying Chinese and taking part in academic programs in China.

Eight years later, Obama is gone and so is much of the academic momentum. Though China looms ever larger in U.S. economic and security concerns, American universities are experiencing a decline in the enrollment in Chinese language courses and study abroad programs. The growing sense that work opportunities in China are harder to come by is compounding worries about pollution and other living conditions.

Stanford University announced in January it would indefinitely suspend its undergraduate program in Beijing as of May. The school’s student newspaper reported that enrollment had fallen by around two-thirds from 2004 to just eight last year. The university had earlier merged its Chinese and Japanese language degree programs into a single East Asian studies course.

Please read more here.

Principal named for new SF Bay area Mandarin immersion school

April 16, 2017

Mr. Peterson reached out to me about how to find families and get them involved in the new school they’re creating in Contra Costa County (just north of Berkeley for you non-San Francisco Bay area folks.) I was quite impressed with his enthusiasm and awareness of the issues. It sounds like it’s going to be a good school. And again, kudos to the district for creating a whole school and not just a strand. That’s such a huge leg

WCCUSD’s new Mandarin language school gets first principal

WCCUSD's new Mandarin language school gets first principal
Eric Peterson, new principal of West County Mandarin School.

Eric Peterson has been named principal of the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s (WCCUSD) new Mandarin language school that is set to open in August.

Peterson currently serves as the WCCUSD Director of Special Education. Before that, he was the principal at Dover Elementary School in San Pablo.

He is an award-winning educator with “a long history with the Mandarin language” and has experience building and sustaining bilingual programs, according to Superintendent Matthew Duffy.

In 2011, Peterson was honored in a White House ceremony as a National Board Certified Teacher and is active in several professional organizations, including the California Association for Bilingual Education, the district said.

Please read more here.

Workshops for teachers this summer

April 14, 2017

There are several in Minnesota through CARLA, the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.

Make sure your administrators know about these. Link is here.

Here’s CARLA’s general website for immersion programs.

 Summer Institutes for Language Teachers

The CARLA summer institutes listed below are primarily targeted at K–12 and post-secondary foreign language and ESL teachers. They are not designed to meet the unique needs of immersion teachers. Please refer to the bottom of each page for specific information about the target audience. Please see the section below for immersion-specific institutes.

 July 10–August 13, 2017

Location 

Using the Web
for Communicative Language Learning

   This is a 5-week ONLINE ONLY institute
" " Register Now! " " Online Only!

 July 10–14, 2017

Location 

Developing Assessments
for the Second Language Classroom
" " Register Now! " " YMCA 3rd Floor
1801 Univ Ave SE
" "
Teaching Heritage Languages
and Learners
" " Register Now! " " Northrop
Crosby Room
" "
Creativity in the Classroom

 

" " Register Now! " " Nolte 140

 July 17–21, 2017

Location 

Using Technology
in Second Language Teaching
" " Register Now! " " Jones 35
Online option!
" "
Improving Language Learning:
Styles- and Strategies-Based Instruction
" " Register Now! " " Nolte 140
" "
Teaching Language
Through the Lens of Social Justice
" " Register Now! " " YMCA 3rd Floor
1801 Univ Ave SE
" "
Using Authentic Materials to
Develop 21st Century Literacies
NEW!
" " Register Now! " " Nicholson 115

 July 24–28, 2017

Location 

Content-Based Language Instruction
and Curriculum Development
" " Register Now! " " Nolte 140
" "
Culture as the Core
in the Second Language Classroom
" " Register Now! " " YMCA 3rd Floor
1801 Univ Ave SE
" "
Growing Learner Language:
A Hands-On Approach
" " Register Now! " " Nicholson 115
" "

 

The state of Mandarin Immersion in 2017

April 8, 2017

By Elizabeth Weise

Mandarin immersion programs in the United States continue to expand, with nine new programs scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year. For the coming school year, there will be at least 235 Mandarin immersion programs in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

Here’s an update for the current State of Mandarin Immersion, based on the database of programs I maintain here. I have tried to keep it as up to date and accurate as possible, but if you find errors, please send me an email so I can correct them

March 2017 Numbers

Total schools as of the 2017-2018 school year          235

New schools for 2017-2018

Crest Elementary School Eugene OR
Northern Hills High School Grand Rapids MI
PUC International Preparatory Academy Los Angeles CA
Fred Newhart Middle Schoo Mission Viejo CA
Elementary 23 Overland Park KS
Serra campus Richmond CA
South Fork Elementary Rigby ID
Desert Canyon Elementary Scottsdale AZ
Mesa Elementary School West Covina CA

School type

Public                                                  170      72.3%

Charter                                                25       10.6%

Private                                                 40       17.0%

What grades

K – 5 or 6         149                  63.4%

K – 8                38                    16.1%

Middle school 35                    14.8%

K – 12               5                      2.1%

High School     7                      2.9%

Middle + High School  1          0.4%

TOTAL             235

Percent Time in Mandarin 

50/50                                      125      64.7%

More than 60%                       65        33.6%

80 and above                         59        30.5%

Strand versus whole school

Strand             164      84.9%

Whole             29        15.0%

 

Simplified/Traditional

Simplified       162      83.5%

Traditional      32        16.4%

Programs by State:

Of total, California is 24.6%, Utah is 19.1%

CA 58
UT 45
NY 12
AZ 10
MI 10
MN 10
NC 9
OR 9
CO 8
GA 8
IL 8
MD 7
WA 7
SC 5
DE 4
TX 4
NJ 3
DC 2
IN 2
MA 2
OK 2
AK 1
FL 1
ID 1
KS 1
LA 1
MO 1
OH 1
RI 1
WI 1
WY 1

A nice news piece on Utah’s immersion program

April 8, 2017

This highlights how immersion students end up with college language credit in high school – not bad for 15-year-olds!