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Chinese immersion program in Lafayette, La. is teaching students more than language

November 22, 2020

Leigh Guidry, The Daily AdvertiserPublished 10:25 a.m. CT Feb. 16, 2020

Zhaoting Xia sits at the front of her classroom at Cpl. Michael Middlebrook Elementary School in Lafayette, facing a group of kindergarteners while holding a basket of fake fruit and veggies in her lap.

The 29-year-old teacher holds paper copies of Chinese currency and invites kids up one at a time to use the “money” to purchase something from her pretend fruit stand.

All of this takes place in Chinese.

Xia is one of five Chinese immersion teachers at Middlebrook, home to the first such program in Louisiana. All five teachers are from China. Two are visiting teachers, like Xia, who can be contracted for up to three years. Two are local residents.

Louisiana’s only other Chinese immersion program is offered at Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet. LeBrun said it has a similar enrollment to Lafayette’s program.

Please read more here.

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