Uintah Elementary Principal Quinn Karlinsey shares his experience concerning this new teaching program 5
“It’s a pretty neat thing to see,” said Principal Quinn Karlinsey.
Principal Karlinsey is a bit humble about his students’ progress. These children are able to mostly understand their teacher, who speaks only Chinese, and they’ve been in school all of a week.
“It’s amazing how quick they grab the language and that’s why we do at such a young age, second language acquisition comes so much quicker at a young age,” Karlinsey said.
It’s the first year for the Chinese Immersion program at Uintah. 58 first graders spend half their school day with Miss Chen speaking exclusively Chinese learning everything from words and math to animals and colors. The kids spend the other half of the day with their English speaking teacher. Two languages, two teachers, every day and they’ll stay in the program for the next 6 years.
“I think this program is a great way for students, and probably the best way for students to learn a second language,” Karlinsey said. “That’s our goal is to not only get these kids bilingual, but hopefully multilingual by the time they’re in their high school years.”
When Uintah’s Administration learned they would be getting the immersion program, they opened it up to any upcoming first graders in Uintah’s boundaries. Some parents opted for a traditional learning environment instead, so they started accepting applications from students outside their boundaries and that’s how Ashlee Hartman’s daughter, Macyn, got into the class.
“I thought this would be a good challenge for her, and she’s just been doing awesome with it,” Hartman said.
Ashlee drives Macyn 20 minutes to school so she can participate in the program. She says she hopes it will lead to college scholarship offers one day.
“It’s been such a great experience,” she added.
Pricipal Karlinsey says that’s what he’s hoping for too.
“This could be huge for these kids,” he said. “We hope by doing this at an early age, it will just open up doors for them down the road, whether it’s with the language, or with business, or just other things they learn through our program.”
To find out more about Uintah Elementary, click here: www.ue.weber.k12.ut.us
For more information on other Dual immersion programs throughout the state contact the World Language Specialist at the Utah Office of Education.
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South P O Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
Phone: (801) 538-7740
Fax: (801) 538-7973