As we prepare for the National Chinese Language Conference, our biggest event of the year, we continue to think a lot about the growth of this field over the last decade.
One of the most spectacular manifestations of the enthusiasm for Chinese language learning across the United States has been the incredible interest in Chinese language immersion programs at the elementary school level. A decade ago, there were fewer than a dozen successful Chinese language programs in US schools. Now there are well over one hundred—by some estimates, almost two hundred. Immersion programs are some of the most robust and impactful programs and so are great places to look for models for the rest of the field.
The intensity of an immersion program means that teachers need to be exemplars of effective and creative pedagogy, and parents need to be intimately engaged in supporting the learning process for their children.
Here I offer a collection of articles that focuses on creating and sustaining a strong Chinese immersion program. While these articles are especially relevant for immersion practitioners, their lessons and perspectives are broadly applicable for teachers, leaders, and parents at all levels of instruction.
> The Basics of Chinese Immersion Design
> How to Staff Your Immersion Program
> Language Immersion Success: Invest in Teachers
> Parents as Allies in Language Immersion
> Market Your Chinese Immersion Program