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Language
This language corner is a new series designed for people who are interested in learning Mandarin.
Taiwan Business
Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years.
Greatest
“The Greatest Spirit” presented poetry, music and dance in mural-like story scenes, telling the tale of the Chinese spirits (liquor) culture, and highlights the grandeur of traditional Chinese operas, the exquisite beauty of the costumes of past Chinese dynasties and the unique styles of Chinese ancient architecture.
Pavillion
Not quite, but this new pavillion is going up by the lake. Which lake? Whose pavillion?
K.Y. Kwok exhibit
Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts, Studio 120, 250 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis
Chinese Street Food
Next time you visit China or any other country, make sure you seek out the street foods. Keep Bourdain’s street food spirit alive!
Lauren's Journey To The Ordway
Lauren’s first exposure in the spotlight occurred when she was only 2 years old!
Hmong
One of five Peanuts characters that will be sent to the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
Congressional Gold Medal
On May 4, 2017, bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for the award of the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Chinese American veterans of World War II.
Chinese Garden at Arboretum
The first-ever Chinese Garden in Minnesota opened officially to great international fanfare and a watery welcome on Sept. 18, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.
Judge Tony Leung
The biggest distinction he made was that when on duty in state criminal court, he was asked a lot about what the police officer can and cannot do in a situation.
Communist Party
The communist takeover of China in 1949 saw a significant achievement of a comprehensive government.
Solar Plant
The innovative project was constructed by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) with a total investment of 1 billion RMB.
Starbucks
Shanghai now lays claim to the world’s biggest Starbucks!
Chinese Americans continue to contribute
In the Twin Cities, there are many Chinese Americans who have contributed to the fabric of American society.

Production Editor Needed

MN Disaggregation Of Ethnic Data

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.

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. 

Ms. Miller herself is a product of learning a second language when she was a child. She studied French when she was in elementary school in Rochester, Minn. At the age of eight, she began her study and her life-long love of the French language and culture. As she looks back at her career, she is amazed at how many of her major decisions and opportunities were impacted by this early opportunity to begin studying a second language.

 

Many children in Minnesota have the opportunity to learn Chinese during their elementary school years, not just as a class but also in an immersion school setting. As recently as 2006, the first Chinese immersion school, Yinghua, opened in Minnesota. Yinghua Academy became the first Chinese immersion charter public school in the United States.  Since then, Hopkins School District began an immersion program called XinXing, Minnetonka School District has two Chinese immersion programs, one at Scenic Heights Elementary and a second at Excelsior Elementary School, and St. Cloud School District has Guang Ming Academy at Madison Elementary School.

 

In addition, the number of schools offering Chinese language classes has grown in response to the rising demand from parents.

 

Ms. Miller says that immersion programs have goals that include attitude and academics in both English and a second language. Students are functionally bi-lingual as they exit their elementary education years. Included in their education is the cultural aspect of the other language as well as academic excellence in both English and the second language.

 

Immersion education, says Miller, is a successful way to learn a second language and the most successful in terms of vocabulary development and an excellent accent. Nevertheless, she is quick to point out - the students do not become native speakers in their proficiency. However, most often they are excellent students in both languages. They are expected to master the elementary school program with all of the standards set by the State of Minnesota, in both languages. Academic success in English is expected, while students are developing proficiency in the second language!

 

Ms. Miller says that much in her life was affected by her study of a second language at an early age. Nevertheless, all was not perfect. She felt the middle school program she attended was not as good as the elementary school language program. However, she had already decided that she was interested in a second language, so she continued her study.

 

Students in our Chinese Immersion programs in Minnesota start at a very young age and do not make the “immersion” choice without parental guidance. Like Ms. Miller, however, many will choose to continue in their second language of Chinese because they have already enjoyed success in Chinese.

 

The pedagogy or teaching skills required in an immersion program are sophisticated, says Ms. Miller. The teacher’s lessons have both content (or subject matter – like math, for example) goals AND language goals. Students must not only learn the math but how to talk about it in Chinese. An advantage of immersion education is that because students are experiencing an actual subject-matter lesson, they are speaking purposefully in the second language. Purpose is a great motivator in learning.

 

The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota or CIUMN has promoted growth in Chinese language education here in Minnesota. CIUMN promotes the study of Chinese language and culture throughout our state. It is a collaborative initiative between the University of Minnesota, the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, and Capital Normal University in Beijing. The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota is one of 67 in the United States and almost 400 worldwide.

 

As a part of the University’s Outreach Mission, the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota uses resources at the University and in the state to serve Minnesota communities statewide. CIUMN facilitates professional development, training, and support for Chinese language teachers; cultural and language training for the business community; and language and cultural programming for the general public.

 

Ms. Miller says that immersion education done well is student-centered and gets the students talking. Her own children attended immersion schools during their elementary years, one in French and the other in Spanish. Ms. Miller herself has a BA in French and Foreign Language Education from Macalester, and an MA from Columbia University in New York. For many years she was editor of the American Council on Immersion Education Newsletter. She has worked for CARLA, the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, as a specialist of immersion education.

 

It has been said that if you teach Chinese on the West Coast of the United States that is not the same as teaching Chinese here in the Heartland. There are many Chinese heritage speakers in those coastal states. If you teach Chinese in Minnesota, you are in the middle of fly-over land with immigrants mainly from Northern Europe. In Minnesota, we do teach Chinese, and it makes us stand out as a state. Chinese is the fastest growing immersion language program in this state.

 

Kimerly Miller is available as a consultant and speaker with regard to immersion. She is the Chair of the Minnesota Advocates for Immersion Network (MAIN), http://www.mnimmersion.org/. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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