What is “language immersion”?
Immersion is defined as a method of language instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught through the medium of the language. The foreign language is the vehicle for the content instruction; it is not the subject of instruction. In the Southeast Chinese program the standard JPS math and science curriculum will be the content of instruction, and Mandarin Chinese will be the vehicle for teaching the content.
What immersion model will be used in the Southeast Chinese Program?
While 3 main immersion models exist (full/total immersion; partial immersion; and dual-language) the partial immersion model will be used at SE. Kindergarteners enrolled in the Chinese program will spend 50% of their day in Chinese with Xue Laoshi and 50% in English with Mrs. McDaniel. First graders enrolled in the program will spend 50% of their day with Xue Laoshi and 50% in English with Mrs. Andrus. Second grade will spend 50% of their day with Zeng Laoshi and 50% with Mrs. Bruns. Third grade will send 50% of their day with Zeng Laoshi and 50% with Ms. McClellan.
Will siblings be automatically accepted into the SE Chinese Program?
Yes. Qualified younger siblings of students already enrolled in the program will automatically be accepted into the program.
Will the makeup of the Chinese classes reflect the student population as a whole?
While the profile of the Chinese class is dependent upon certain variables, such as applicant pool and random-draw lottery, the intent is for the Chinese class to reflect the makeup of the SE student body.
Will students be able to enroll in the Chinese Program after Kindergarten?
A. Kindergarten and First Grade Wait List students presented with the opportunity to fill a vacancy in the Chinese Program are not required to demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin, but must remain qualified candidates.
B. Second Grade Wait List students presented with the opportunity to fill a vacancy in the Chinese Program must demonstrate Mandarin proficiency comparable with that of existing class members.
C. No vacancies will be filled from the Wait List in Grades 3 and 4.
How can parents support their students in the Chinese Program, especially if they do not speak Chinese?
While an adjustment period will be necessary, several options are being explored to assist parents in being able to help their students at home. Ultimately, the hope exists that students enrolled in the Chinese Program will become confident, independent learners who are able to teach other members of the families how to use the Chinese language. Teachers, as always, will be acutely aware of the need for communication with parents, and several ideas are being considered, including that of making podcasts available. In addition, the Jenks Community Education office will offer a fee-based Chinese for Parents class which will begin in February and continue through the month of April. More information can be found by clicking the Parent Involvement link.
What happens when Chinese immersion students graduate from Southeast Elementary?
Chinese immersion students graduating from Southeast Elementary will be automatically included in the Sino-Trojan Academy at East Intermediate if parents so desire. Once enrolled in the program at EI, the students will begin receiving direct instruction of the language with Chinese I. At the Middle School students will enroll in Chinese II and Chinese III, and at the High School students will enroll in Chinese IV (AP) – Chinese VII.
What is a FLAP Grant and what does it have to do with the Southeast Chinese Program?
In September of 2009, JPS received notification of a 5-year Foreign Language Assistance Program grant award in the amount of $500,000 which is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Education. The 3 objectives of the FLAP Grant were to create Oklahoma’s first Chinese partial immersion program, articulate a K-16 Chinese curriculum, and establish appropriate professional development opportunities to support program staff. The 2009-2010 school year was used as a planning year and the first students began kindergarten and 1st grade in August of 2010. The next three years have been used to “roll-out” one additional Chinese partial immersion class each year.
What happens to the Chinese Program when the 5-year grant period is completed?
A great deal of the cost involved in establishing a new program is related to “start-up” costs. The grant allowed committee members to visit established, premier immersion schools in other states and to spend the planning year studying published research with respect to best practices in building immersion programs. In applying for the FLAP Grant, JPS was required to prove the sustainability of the program after the 5-year grant period ended. The Chinese Program has sought to establish programs and activities outside the scope of the immersion class which speaks to the sustainability of the program.
With the folding of the FLAP program into the Genreral U.S. Department of Education grant program in January of 2012, all FLAP Grant funds were eliminated; however the southeast Chinese Immersion Program has continued and progressed as planned. With the addition of the 4th grade Chinese class in August of 2013, Jenks Public Schools offer Chinese classes at every level, k-12.