Monthly Archives: October 2014

Nation’s first publicly-funded Chinese immersion charter school


In a middle-class, Minneapolis neighborhood is the nation’s first Chinese immersion charter school, which has a goal of pushing its students to near-native bilingualism by 8th grade, reports The New York Times.

Some highlights from the story:

“Yinghua, which means ‘English Chinese,’ [opened] with just 76 students and four teachers in 2006,” and now has 660 students, the newspaper says. “The student-teacher ratio is 10 to one, and 78 percent of the teachers hold advanced degrees, many of them from American universities; three have Ph.D.’s.”

Unlike Utah’s dual-immersion model, Yinghua Academy is a total-immersion school, one of a handful in the country. This means Yinghua teaches all academic subjects in Chinese through fourth grade before moving to a half-English model for grades five to eight. “Our goal is real bilingualism by eighth grade, which is near native,” the school’s director, Luyi Lien told the NY Times.

As one parents puts it, “High expectations are yoked to high results.” The newspaper explains:

“In standardized tests, Yinghua students perform at least as well or better than their public school counterparts, even though English classes begin only at age 7. In Minnesota’s Multiple Measure Rating system, Yinghua has ranked within the top 15 percent of all Minnesota public schools for the past three years. (That includes the Focus Rate ranking, which measures the school’s reduction in the achievement gap between higher and lower socioeconomic groups).”

Mark Zuckerberg speaks Chinese. Really, he does.

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

You can get your kids to translate, but basically he’s saying that his wife is Chinese and her grandmother only speaks Chinese, and now he’s learned. His accent is horrible but his Chinese is actually pretty good.
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Click the “post” link below to see the full interview:

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Lecture: The beauty of traditional Chinese characters

As parents of Mandarin learners you may have wondered: What’s the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese characters?
WHAT: The Chinese Society of Utah, Taiwan Academy and BYU’s Flagship Center are sponsoring a free lecture on the beauty of traditional Chinese characters
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: SLCC, Miller Campus (9750 S 300 W, Sandy, UT 84070)
WHO: Featuring Dr. Matthew Christensen, BYU professor and Director, Chinese Flagship Center
RSVP: The event is free and open to the public (see attached flier for details) but space is limited, so please RSVP to

A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion: now available!

I’ve been waiting a long time for this book. Knowing what I know about author Elizabeth Weise – her depth of knowledge and commitment to Chinese immersion – I’m confident it will be an informative read!

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

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At long last, “A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion” has been published.

It is available as a print book on the CreateSpace website at

It’s also available on Amazon at

However, please note that Amazon takes twice the cut that CreateSpace does (though they’re the same company). So if you can, I’d ask that you buy it from the CreateSpace site.
There is as yet no e-book version. Unfortunately the .epub format does not support Chinese characters, so they come through as black squares. There’s a fair amount of Chinese sprinkled through the book, so it doesn’t work without Chinese. I’m looking into do a fixed-format ebook (which wouldn’t work on phone but could be read on tablets) for example, but haven’t quite worked out the details. I’ll email when it becomes available.
Yours for more Mandarin,
Beth Weise
A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion
Chenery Street Press

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Enroll now in language immersion

Canyons School District is now accepting applications to its Dual Immersion Programs, according to the Deseret News.

“The deadline to submit an application is Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Parents and guardians who have questions about the programs are invited to attend a Parent Information Night on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Canyons Support Services Center, 9361 S. 300 East. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the facility’s Professional Development Center.

Canyons offers eight elementary dual language immersion programs: Mandarin Chinese-English programs are at Draper, Lone Peak and Ridgecrest elementary schools; French-English programs are at Butler and Oak Hollow elementary schools; and Spanish-English classes are taught at Alta View, Silver Mesa and Midvale elementary schools.

All programs except for the Midvale program are for students entering first grade for the 2015-16 school year. The Midvale Spanish-English dual-language immersion program is for students entering kindergarten for the 2015-16 school year.

A lottery will be held to determine entrance into the programs if the number of applications is greater than the number of space available in the classes.

For more information, call the district’s Evidence-Based Learning Department at 801-826-5045.”