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Lack of teachers a rate-limiting factor for immersion programs

December 7, 2016

City’s Dual Language Programs Struggle to Find Teachers, Experts Say

By Amy Zimmer | February 23, 2016 9:54am

 Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina (left), Principal Victoria Hunt (center) and Queen Letizia (right) observe a kindergarten art class at the Dos Puentes Dual Language School, a dual language program in Upper Manhattan.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina (left), Principal Victoria Hunt (center) and Queen Letizia (right) observe a kindergarten art class at the Dos Puentes Dual Language School, a dual language program in Upper Manhattan. View Full Caption

Newsday

MANHATTAN — The Department of Education has celebrated its expansion of dual languageprograms — recently awarding $10,000 to more than a dozen schools for multilingual instructional materials and ongoing professional development.

But at many of the approximately 160 remaining dual language programs around the city, principals are struggling to fill the teaching spots amid a dearth of certified foreign language teachers, parents and experts said.

In the Lower East Side’s P.S. 20, which includes a Mandarin dual-language program, it’s been so hard to find qualified teachers that its fifth-grade Mandarin teacher and fourth-grade English teacher had to flip flop between classrooms from one day to the next for months, parents said.

Please read more here.

Scottsdale, Arizona plans Mandarin immersion program.

December 6, 2016

Scottsdale School Plans Mandarin Immersion Program, Starting in Kindergarten

Published: Monday, December 5, 2016 – 3:30pm

(Photo courtesy of Kristin Kinghorn)
Desert Canyon Elementary School principal Kristin Kinghorn learns calligraphy with students at a school in China.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, and fluency could mean more opportunities in the workforce. That’s why some parents here want their kids to speak it, too — even if they don’t speak it themselves.

“It’s a little bit intimidating. But I do realize this is a changing world and we need to support our children. And if this is what’s the right thing for them in terms of their personal development, you’re willing to stretch,” said Maria Aldrich, who attended a recent meeting at Desert Canyon Elementary School in Scottsdale.

She’s planning to enroll her daughter in the school’s new Mandarin Dual Immersion Program, which starts next school year.

Students will spend half of each day being taught in Mandarin. That led parent Jennifer D’Costa to wonder what homework help will be like.

Please read more here.

A look at a Manhattan Mandarin immersion program

November 30, 2016
This is from a few years back, but information about New York City programs is hard to find so I thought I’d post it. – Beth

 

Bilingual P.S. 20’s Principal Talks About Teaching in English and Mandarin

By Serena Solomon | January 21, 2013 8:02am

 Principal James Lee heads up an elementary school that has a bilingual Chinese Mandarin program.

LOWER EAST SIDE — There are plenty of surprises when it comes to James Lee, the principal at P.S. 20 Anne Silver School, one of only two in the city that run a bilingual program in Chinese Mandarin.

Despite being Chinese-Japanese-American, Lee doesn’t speak the language many of his elementary students are learning, though he is fluent in Spanish.

A degree in rhetoric with an emphasis on the persuasiveness of folk tales preceded his master’s in special education.

After a year spent soul-searching in Peru, Lee’s science curiosity led him to work for the Prospect Park Audubon for two years before landing in the New York City school system.

“I thought to be a good principal I need to gather some skills and experiences you might not be able to gain in the school system,” said the 45-year-old Lower East Side resident and San Francisco native.

Please read more here.

More on Wisconsin possibly losing its one Mandarin immersion program

November 29, 2016

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From Madison.com

Dear Editor: We are deeply troubled by the Verona School Board’s proposal to eliminate the Verona Area International School. This Mandarin immersion school is an incredible feather in the cap for the district and it provides tremendous value for the community. Any student can attend, and this school represents a fantastic way for parents to provide language education for their young children at no additional cost.

Mandarin education and language fluency is incredibly important. Mandarin is spoken by over 1 billion people and is the most widely spoken first language in the world. The economy of China continues to expand and having Mandarin speakers within our community to compete in a global economy increases the chances of successful business and other professional interactions.

Many forward-thinking states are pushing for Chinese language education as they see it as a way to improve their chances of increasing business partnerships with Chinese industry.

Chinese culture is over 5,000 years old and offers a different perspective than our standard Eurocentric worldview.

Please read more here.

Seattle wants more immersion schools to fix achievement gap

November 21, 2016

 

Seattle currently has a Mandarin immersion program that begins at Beacon Hill International School and Dearborn Park International School, then feeds to Mercer International Middle School.

 

A plan to fix Seattle student achievement gaps: teacher diversity, international schools

Originally published November 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm Updated November 17, 2016 at 7:13 pm 

An advisory group formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has released a list of 18 recommendations for how the city, school district and other organizations can work together to improve the academic achievement of students of color and those from low-income families.

Seattle Times staff reporter

An advisory group formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has released a list of 18 recommendations for how the city, school district and other organizations can work together to improve the academic achievement of students of color and those from low-income families.

Among the recommendations: Expand and enhance before- and after-school and summer programs, increase diversity in the educator workforce, address the needs of homeless students, and add more international schools and dual-language immersion programs.

Please read more here.

Wisconsin to close state’s only Mandarin immersion program

November 18, 2016

Keep Chinese immersion school open — Kristopher Schroeder

I am deeply troubled by the Verona School Board’s proposal to eliminate the Verona Area International School.

 

This school is an incredible feather in the cap for the district, and it provides tremendous value for the community. Any student can attend, and this school represents a fantastic way for parents to provide language education for their young children at no additional cost.

Mandarin is spoken by over 1 billion people and is the most widely spoken first language in the world. Many forward-thinking states are pushing for Chinese language education as they see it as a way to improve their chances of increasing business partnerships with Chinese industry.

Chinese culture is over 5,000 years old and offers a different perspective than our standard euro-centric world view. But the unique character and tonal nature of the Chinese language makes early exposure and immersion incredibly vital to obtain fluency. The Verona School District should continue and increase its efforts to support the International School by renewing its charter for an additional five years. At that time, efforts should be made to reassess the viability and success of this school.

Please read more here.

Delaware district getting to middle school

November 17, 2016

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Caesar Rodney School District is planning for its Chinese Immersion Program to move into middle school.

It’s been four years since the first group of kindergarten students enrolled in a course where students learn a foreign language by speaking solely in the chosen tongue.

Supervisor of Instruction Darren Guido, who oversees the program, said there’s much to be done before the scholars move into middle school in 2018.

The district, in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Education, is searching for two teachers, for Postlethwait and Fred Fifer middle schools.

Please read more here.