The introduction of Spanish and Mandarin Chinese into the school district’s elementary schools this fall has been “successful.”
That was the message delivered to the school board on Monday by Enrique Pincay, the district’s supervisor of world languages and English as a second language.
The introduction of the two languages into the K-4 curriculum will “prepare students for the 21st century,” Pincay said.
To implement the curriculum, the district re-hired the three Spanish teachers who were laid off when the district faced a budget shortfall and three Chinese teachers, Pincay said.
One of the strategies employed by the teachers, Picay said, is “100 percent immersion” in the language once class begins. Textbooks are only used as reference books, he said.
Teachers are also encouraged to utilize an “infusion of culture” and “mult-activity lessons,” Pincay said.
For example, students learning Chinese learn numbers by counting chopsticks, he said.
Helping implement the Chinese curriculum is the cooperation of the award-winning Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, which has started a residency in the district’s six elementary schools.
Throughout the school year, the dance company will work with third-graders to enhance their language learning through dance and movement.
The residency will culminate with assemblies next year when members of the company will perform with third-graders.
Next on the agenda, Pincay said, will be the development of a plan to add Chinese to the high school curriculum and expanding Chinese and Spanish to the fifth grade in the 2013-14 school year.