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Newspaper in Wyoming expresses concerns about Mandarin immersion

May 3, 2013

This is from the Casper Star-Tribune.

Why the rush?

There is a popular perception in America that in the Chinese language, the word for “crisis” and “opportunity” is the same. Though most Chinese philologists disagree, introducing Chinese as a language immersion program in Natrona County School District has seemed to be both a crisis and opportunity for Casper.

Recently, the Natrona County school board approved a Mandarin Chinese program beginning in the fall at Paradise Valley Elementary School.

This was one-third the number of dual-language immersion programs that some parents and proponents had hoped for. And it was one too many for some concerned parents.

But Chinese in the public schools is both a crisis and an opportunity.

We support parents, teachers and leaders in the community who believe that more foreign language instruction is necessary in public education. We also subscribe to the notion that introducing foreign language at the junior high or high school level is far too late.

Dual-language programs are hardly new and they have a proven record throughout public education in America. That’s why it makes sense to support a program, especially in a world economy that demands fluency in multiple languages.

Please read more here.

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