Yinghua Academy is offering two sessions of FREE beginning conversational Chinese language classes for students from any Minnesota school currently enrolled in grades 6-8. Funding for this program is through the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant of the US Department of Education.
XinXing Academy students are leading the way in Minnesota. Every single student passed the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), an international standardized Chinese proficiency test administered by the Minnesota Confucius Institute on May 20, 2011.
By Jodi Yim James, Staff Writer
Kimerly Miller is an expert on Immersion Education. In Minnesota, there has been an average of one new Chinese Immersion program opening up each year in the last six years. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with Ms. Miller about second language education and Minnesota Chinese Immersion programs.
Academy, the first Chinese immersion charter school in the Midwest, has been awarded an US$811,765 Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant comes the same year the schools’ charter moved from a K-5 to a K-8 school, and the school moved into a new, larger location (the former Putnam School located in Northeast Minneapolis). “All three of these things come together to allow us to continue our strong program, right up through the 8th grade. The entire school community has been very excited about our move into the new building, and by receiving the FLAP grant, we are really positioned well to continue our outstanding program through middle school,” notes Betsy Lueth, Yinghua Academy’s director.
Chinese Immersion in the Minnetonka, MN School District
When the Minnetonka, MN schools began Mandarin Immersion in the schools in 2007 they knew there were many challenges ahead in starting a new language program. What they didn't know was just how fortunate they were to have a variety of rich technology tools already in place in all Kindergarten through grade five classrooms. Smartboards and other innovative technologies in the immersion classrooms are proving to be an incredible tool for accelerating student learning of their second language.
Language immersion education has emerged as a uniquely constituted, highly effective program model for launching students on the road to bilingualism, multilingualism and intercultural competence. School-based immersion programs follow a variety of paths, including one-way foreign language immersion, two-way bilingual immersion, and indigenous immersion for language and culture revitalization. While each pathway targets distinct socio-cultural contexts and educational needs, all are grounded in a set of core characteristics with a strong focus on subject matter learning as well as language development.