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“They have no accent!” colleague says

May 20, 2012

To the editor:

Thank you, Karin deJonge-Kannan, for your excellent, informative letter (“Monolingualism can be cured,” May 16) about Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs in Utah schools, where participating students learn academic content in another language in addition to English. A year ago, I visited Uintah Elementary School in Ogden with a couple of Chinese-American colleagues from Weber State University’s College of Education. We all agreed our visit to a second-grade Mandarin Chinese dual immersion classroom was one of the most exciting experiences of our professional careers. The atmosphere in that room was electric — kids excited and motivated to learn, teacher excited to teach. I don’t speak Mandarin, but my colleagues were astounded at the proficiency of those 7- and 8-year-olds. After hunkering down to talk with a couple of students in the corner of the room, the colleague from Nanjing whispered excitedly to me, “They have no accent!”

Please read more here.

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