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More on bringing Mandarin immersion to Wyoming

March 21, 2013

Chinese language ‘camp’ for Casper kids could be beginning of long-term program
By JACIE BORCHARDT  Casper Star-Tribune
March 21, 2013 – 12:48 pm EDT

CASPER, Wyoming — The second-graders circled around squares of paper with different colors a few inches apart on the floor.

Each clutched a smaller, paper square and leaned forward, waiting for the teacher to name a color and, if it matched his or her own, be the first to touch the corresponding color in the middle.

The game would be a simple test of speed — if the colors weren’t given in Mandarin Chinese, foreign to the American students eagerly trying to win stickers for being the first to the square.

Teacher Ning Zhao, originally from China, said the color twice before a few students jumped up and lunged at the papers on the floor.

“Lan si,” she repeated. The students, holding green pieces of paper, were incorrect.

Not “lan si,” Zhao said, “lan si¨.”

A few seconds later, three students realized they held blue (lán sè) papers in their hands and lunged forward.

Things move fast in the Chinese language immersion program offered this summer through the Natrona County School District. Lessons are planned and taught by native speakers, and class is conducted solely in Chinese — crucial to the structure of the camp, funded through the STARTALK program of the federal Department of Defense.

Please read more here.

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