Excerpt from Elizabeth Weise’s book,
A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion:
“Literacy is the elephant in the room in Mandarin immersion. Students typically read Chinese between two and five grade levels below what a student the same age would read in China. Everyone in the field is working hard to figure out how to do better. Don’t expect your district to have solved this problem. (If they have, please have them let the rest of us in on their secret.) But you do want them to be honest about it and be able to tell you what they’re doing to work on the issue. Are there lots of graded readers in the classrooms? Do they make sure those go home with students so they can read in Chinese at home as well? Do they hold workshops for parents who don’t speak Chinese on how to promote Chinese literacy?
If they don’t, this might be a project a parent support network needs to take on. Parents are an important part of making this all happen, so don’t just expect the school to deliver everything to you on a platter.”