Monthly Archives: March 2015

Cultural exchange for elementary immersion students

Amanda Conklin, a parent at Wasatch Elementary is planning a trip for immersion students to Taiwan. Students can get penpals prior to going and they will be meeting at schools and doing other great activities. Please see the following for more details:

Dear Chinese Immersion Parents,

Su Ma Ma Chinese Club has initiated several large projects, with great success. Currently, one of these projects is the International Pen Pal Program. Students who participate in this program have fun sharing the culture with each other, not only by writing but also through themes that we talk about in class. Recently, one of our Taiwan Pen Pal Schools (Sagor School) visited Wasatch Elementary and Aspen Elementary. During this visit, the students from Taiwan participated in English classes and visited Chinese Immersion classes at the schools. Students from both countries enjoyed learning from each other. The teachers from Taiwan brought amazing lessons into the Chinese Immersion classes with storytelling and sciences. We are creating a similar experience for our students in Utah, and are planning a trip to Taiwan in June 2015. You can learn more about us by following us on Facebook at Su Ma Ma Chinese Club.

Benefits of this program trip to Taiwan:

  • We will visit most of our pen pal schools (Currently there are 8 Taiwanese schools participating).
  • Your children will be able to personally meet their pen pals.
  • Pen Pal Schools provide a safe learning environment and nice host families.
  • We will visit many beautiful national parks and cities.
  • We are providing a longer cultural experience with a very fair price.
  • Taiwan is a very safe and friendly country to visit. Taiwan has kept many Chinese traditions while adopting a westernized lifestyle.
  • Due to our Pen Pal School resources, we will be visiting Taiwan for 2015. In the future, we will provide similar program to China.

LEAF Cultural Exchange, LLC will help provide travel assistance by arranging airfare, transportation, food, host family, etc. The estimated cost of the trip will be approximately $2,850.00 to $3,400.00 for 4 weeks. A bigger group could help cut down the cost.

You are invited to attend a 90 minute informational meeting held at Provo School District Office PDC on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

(280 West 940 North, Provo, Ut, 84604)

If you are interested in this incredible cultural opportunity, please contact us and plan to attend this meeting.

Amanda ConklinSu Ma Ma Chinese Club


Dorian ConklinLeaf Cultural Exchange


This trip is not a school district or state sponsored event.

Su Ma Ma Chinese Club, LEAF Cultural Exchange and Pen Pal Schools in Taiwan are organizing this trip.

The Secret Garden, now in an easy-to-read version in Mandarin, and in print!

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

Those great Shanghai guys at The Mandarin Companion, Jared Turner & John Pasden, have taken their e-book* translation of The Secret Garden (a classic kids’ book) into Mandarin and turned it into a print book. While I really like the e-book version because you can click on words you don’t know and jump directly back to the vocabulary list, for many people I know a print book is a better “form factor” (to use the fancy Silicon Valley term.)

Either way, these are great ways to get kids reading in Chinese, they’d be especially good for middle school students as the stories have a little umph but they’re in easy-to-read Chinese.

You can buy it from Amazon, (I linked to the page where you can buy it) or go to the Mandarin Companion website to see all the various possibilities here.

And they’re working on Dickens’ Great Expectations, which is very cool. And it will…

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A cool site for Mandarin immersion students

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

This is a popular site at schools, but I think it’s not widely known among parents.

The cool thing about SnapLingo is that it’s real interaction with real Chinese kids, but it’s curated so you know your child is chatting safely. Kids will work a lot harder when they’re a real person, especially another kids, on the other end of the line. Check it out and report back whether your kids like it. I’m curious what they think.

You can see a video about how it works here.

Here’s their website.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 10.58.30 AM


Students from China and America share language and culture through SnapLingo, an interactive app that improves language abilities through fun photo posts and chat missions.

SnapLingo is a mobile social platform that connects students (age 7 – 15) from the USA and China.  SnapLingo matches students as language buddies to practice foreign language and teach each other their native…

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How to create an exchange program for your Mandarin immersion program

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

From our friends at the Asia Society’s China Learning Initiatives.

A Road Map for Planning a Successful “DIY” Two-Way School-to-School Partnership Exchange Program: Part I
Timeline, Key Components and Other Tips

This article is intended for people who are running a “DIY” two-way exchange in which a school’s language teacher/coordinator is handling all of the arrangements and logistics, rather than those who have partnered with an educational tour company to manage the process. If you are running a DIY one-way program, there may still be information here that you will find useful.

While every program has its own specific structure, my hope is that sharing a road map of the planning process for our exchange program (between the Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State and the Mudanjiang No. 1 High School in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province) may help other programs get…

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New Year celebration by Mandarin immersion students in Greenville, Michigan

Mandarin Immersion Parents Council

VIDEO: Greenville hosts Chinese New Year celebration

Posted by Brad Klosner • Last Updated 4:52 pm on Thursday, March 05 2015

GREENVILLE — Residents rang in a joyous New Year over the weekend at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center.

The Chinese New Year, that is.

Although the official Chinese New Year was Feb. 19, the Chinese Immersion Program students and staff at Walnut Hills Elementary School presented “Year of the Sheep: Chinese New Year Gala” last Saturday.

“We want to spread the news about the Chinese immersion program we have here,” Walnut Hills second grade teacher Curtis DeJong said. “We want to share the Chinese culture with the community.”

Please see more here.

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