Monthly Archives: March 2013

Asia Society to immersion programs: make parents your allies

Another great article from the Asia Society – this one quoting immersion pioneer and founding member of San Francisco’s Mandarin Immersion Parents Council, Elizabeth Weise.

Weise who is writing who is writing a guidebook for parents delivers my favorite observation: explaining “that mothers and fathers who have been absorbed by every moment of their children’s lives are jolted when their children enter a Chinese language program. Suddenly, ‘a curtain has come across six hours of their kid’s day. It is a black box. And if you don’t tell them what is happening, they’ll imagine it.'”

Capistrano Unified’s new Mandarin program makes $59K in fundraiser

Wow. Parents net $59,000 for their school’s Mandarin program. Money will be spent on classroom aids. Think of the possibilities Utah.

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council


Dice flew and chips piled up as guests in traditional 旗袍 Chinese brocade dresses and shirts whooped it up at the 2nd annual Friends of MIP (Mandarin Immersion Program) Chinese New Year Fundraiser Celebration. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana turned casino for one night, and supporters of the Capistrano Unified School District’s MIP, a two-year-old program at Marian Bergeson Elementary, netted $59,000 by playing craps and blackjack and bidding on an array of live and silent auction items.

Patina Group served a three-course dinner, and guests participated in a heads and tails game. The festivities supported an important cause, said Audrey Shaw of Laguna Niguel, vice president of the Friends of MIP advisory board.

Article Tab: Tables awaited guests at the Friends of the Mandarin Immersion Program 's Chinese New Year gala at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.
Tables awaited guests at the Friends of the Mandarin Immersion Program ‘s Chinese New Year gala at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.

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Utah blooming with summer camps

The University of Utah’s Confucius Institute has announced its summer camp schedule. Looks like there’s a little something for everyone – beginning Mandarin classes for parents and special reading camps for elementary immersion students.

The institute’s K-12 outreach coordinator Eric Chipman said every effort was made to accommodate everyone’s needs. The camps run for half-a-day from 9 to noon for one week. The total fee is $145. The institute conveniently scheduled the camps at locations across the Salt Lake Valley. And the curriculum is designed to pair well with The Star Talk camps offered by the Utah State Office of Education. “I think we found a happy medium,” Chipman said.

The camps will, according to the institute’s web site: “Take traditional Chinese folk-tales and bring them to life with hands-on activities and interactive reading strategies. Engage with Chinese authentic texts and stories on a meaningful level, with emphasis on Chinese literacy and character recognition. It takes time to master a character-based text system and this program will allow for students to continue learning, reading and speaking Chinese through the summer months.”

Here’s a link to the registration page. Be sure to tab down to the bottom and the second page for the “Chinese Reading for Immersion” offerings.

Don’t wait too long to sign up. I know from parent feedback to our earlier postings that there’s a lot of demand out there for this.

Parents camp out overnight to enroll kids in Mandarin

Some say Mandarin immersion programs are a passing fad. For now, though, they continue to grow in popularity. Here’s a tally of new programs added in 2012-13 from the Mandarin Immersion Parent Council in San Francisco – 24 new schools, including seven in Utah.

And  NBC news story about parents camping out overnight to enroll their kids in a Mandarin program in LA.

Wonder if this speaks to a growing realization of the importance of bilingualism, or a hunger for more rigor and relevance from our public schools – or both.