Monthly Archives: May 2014

Looking for Chinese summer camps in Utah County?  

Nathan Abbott (aka “Mr. Ou”), the fabulous first grade teacher at Cascade Elementary, will be sponsoring Chinese summer camps via his Lotus Academy and also adult learning opportunities. The website with more information is

Amanda Conklin (“Su Ma ma”) has been doing a really great book club for students at Wasatch Elementary. She will be doing summer day camps, story times and book clubs. For more information, email

A new startup company called Cube Incubators ( is sponsoring learning opportunities starting at the end of June. Their program welcomes your children to come to their learning center and connect with children in China via interactive online games.

The Confucius Institute is also going to sponsor a summer camp that (from what I hear) will be somewhat similar to StarTalk has been in the past. Includes language instruction and other activities. Registration for the UVU sessions has not opened yet, but you can see information here:

An organization called “Global Partners in Education” is bringing about 40 elementary school students from China to America during July 21-31. They will meet daily at Cascade Elementary and receive instruction (in English) on science and mathematics topics. The class will be open to all English-speaking students and there will be different sessions available (9-12 or 1-4, each costing $120). Mary Ann O’Brien at could answer registration questions.

If you hear of other organized summer camps, please let me know and I will post them on our website (


Utah blooming with Chinese summer camps

Alisa Wu, the musically-talented immersion teacher at Lone Peak Elementary in Draper, UT is starting a summer camp.

Loyal readers of this blog will recall our write-up about Wu’s use of music, movement, storytelling and games to teach difficult concepts, such as how to say the days of the week in Chinese.

She explains: Children get confused about how to say the days in Chinese. In English we only have today, tomorrow, yesterday. But in Chinese we have:
Jin tian—today
Ming tian —tomorrow
Hou tian— the after tomorrow
Da hou tian—two days after tomorrow
Zuo tian—yesterday
Qin tian-Two days ago
Da qin tian–Three days ago

Putting these words to song aids in memory, pitch and sound discrimination – and it “makes learning fun,” says Wu, who has built up quite a repertoire of songs pared to Utah’s immersion curriculum.

Of her motivation to start a summer camp, she says:

“It takes a tremendous amount of study and dedication to become fluent in a foreign language, especially Chinese, and I have been fortunate to teach some truly remarkable children during my career; however, as I discussed in the paragraphs above, with only a small population of fluent Chinese speakers, coupled with the fact that most of our parents are unfamiliar with the language, there are few opportunities for practice when not in the classroom.  As we welcome our students back into their immersion classrooms in the Fall, students may often struggle with words and phrases that seemed so easy a few months before.  …Therefore, I made the decision to take my passion for teaching, and develop a summer curriculum that would ensure practice over the break, but also a curriculum integrating music, crafts, games, and picture books to ensure the students enjoyed the experience.”

The week-long camps run half-day (morning or afternoon session) at Salt Lake Community College (9750 South 300 West, Sandy, UT). Registration is open to currently-enrolled Utah immersion students, grades 1 through 4, but limited to 20 children per class. The $160 fee covers all instruction and materials.

See flyer below for more information or visit:

wswl camp-2