Skip to content

Utah leads the nation in Mandarin immersion programs

January 30, 2012

Language immersion classrooms: Programs are popular, diligence translates to performance

Published: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 11:04 p.m. MST

By Mercedes White, Deseret News

Ms Alisa Wu’s third grade class in Sandy looks like any other classroom in the country. The desks are lined in neat rows. Brightly colored pictures of letters and vocabulary words decorate the walls. The students read aloud a story from a primer. When they finish, they are lead in a music lesson by their teacher.

But this is no ordinary class.

The letters that cover the walls are Chinese characters. The story the class reads, entirely in Mandarin, is about an important Chinese holiday. And the song the eight-year olds are singing is a Chinese translation of a “Party Rock Anthem,” a popular American song. Ms. Wu’s class is not completing a unit on China, nor is their interest in Chinese language and culture a passing phase. They are part of a Mandarin language immersion program at Lone Peak Elementary.

Tanner Isom listens to first-grade teacher Yu-Pei Tan during Chinese immersion class at Lone Peak Elementary School.

Tanner Isom listens to first-grade teacher Yu-Pei Tan during Chinese immersion class at Lone Peak Elementary School.
Story graphics

Wu’s class is part of a growing trend of language immersion classrooms. In 1981 there were fewer than 30 immersion programs in the country, today there are 448, according to a 2011 report released by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), a non-profit organization that advocates for foreign language instruction. States like Minnesota and Utah are leading the way with 52 and 58 schools offering language immersion options. American students are being educated in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, German, Arabic, and Norwegian.

Please read more here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: