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A Look Inside Our Mandarin Immersion Elementary Classrooms

In Mandarin language arts, we use Better Immersion: a curriculum specifically developed for K–5 immersion programs, developed to meet core content standards across Language Arts, Math, Science & Social Studies. It is correlated to Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and National History Standards, among others.

Better Immersion also provides students with interactive texts in Mandarin, and allows them to read authentic texts representing a variety of genres, including literary, informational, and foundational Mandarin. For families who do not speak Mandarin at home, Better Immersion provides both materials and support.

In-class libraries feature leveled readers to support advancing students through various levels of independent reading. Students are introduced to pinyin in 2nd grade, and to traditional characters in 4th grade. By the time a student completes the 5th grade, the goal is for him or her to read at an intermediate-high level on the ACTFL proficiency scale.

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Each year students are assessed using Avant, a computer-based standardized test used to assess speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Since we began to use this tool, HWIS elementary students have consistently outperformed students of a similar grade and grades three levels higher.

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