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Immersion Classroom Materials and Other Resources

November 11, 2012

[More from those lovely folks at the Asia Society’s Chinese Language Initiatives.]

by Yu-Lan Lin

In an immersion program’s grades K–6, three things happen simultaneously. Understanding these three areas will help educators develop curricula and identify the materials and resources they’ll need to support the program. First, content knowledge develops, including core concepts in math, science, social studies, and so on. Second, students learn content areas in Chinese; their academic language and social language are introduced at the same time. Third, students undertake pre-reading and pre-writing, then reading and writing.

When educators identify materials, they should keep another rule of three in mind: materials should be appropriate for age, grade, and language level. For instance, some materials developed for native Chinese children could be age-appropriate but too difficult for American students to read. Of course, in a school setting there should be a variety of books, graded reading materials, longer books, and independent reading materials.

Articulation, Alignment, Authenticity, Adoption, and Adaption

Before finding suitable materials an immersion school must have well-articulated curricula in place. Regardless of the entry point or ending point, an uninterrupted, sequential curriculum that connects from the lowest to the highest level of the program needs to be secured. This articulation of the school curriculum needs to be based on a solid alignment with the standards set for each subject area, as well as for language development in both Chinese and English.

Today, many states are aligning with the newly developed Common Core State Standards in English language and mathematics. Some states are also aligning their social studies, science, and world languages standards. In the next few years, all curriculum areas will need to align with not only the national standards, but also the Common Core State Standards.

Please read more here.

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