Simon Gill, 5, a pre-kindergarten student, follows singing a song in Chinese with Yujiao Tan, a teacher from China, teaching a Chinese language immersion camp at Downes Elementary School. / JENNIFER CORBETT/THE NEWS JOURNAL
The News Journal
NEWARK — When Gov. Jack Markell walked into a classroom at Downes Elementary School in Newark recently, he was greeted by a cluster of cheering first-graders.
“Ni Hao!” they shouted in unison — “hello” in Mandarin Chinese.
The students are part of a Chinese Language Immersion Summer Camp the Christina School District is offering this summer. Their teachers speak only Mandarin throughout the school day, leading students in songs, dances and other activities.
Downes is one of six schools statewide that will launch full foreign-language immersion programs in the coming school year as Markell’s administration pushes to expand efforts to train more multilingual Delaware students.
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