Chinese new year celebration an opportunity to create dual immersion program awareness

Colorful Asian traditional dresses brighten up the ballrooms of the Union Building Tuesday night in the Chinese New Year celebration at Weber State University.

Hosted by the Weber State Asian Studies Program,students from the Davis school district, Wood Cross High School and Stewart Elementary School from the Chinese immersion program treated attendees with different dances and song performances.

The Dragon parade dance opened the event followed by Wood Cross High School and their song performance called Happy Chinese new year.

Performers used hand folding fans, ribbons, masks among other things to aid their performances.

“I had a lot of fun practicing,” Bekah, a fourth-grader from Stewart Elementary Chinese immersion program said.

Dual immersion is the fuse of academic learning and language procurement. Dual language immersion offers a vast bilingual experience for students, according to Davis School district’s website.

The school day is divided between two classrooms, half of the day in English and half of the day in Chinese.

The immersion program starts as early as kindergarten with the opportunity to continue till high school.

“I started it since kindergarten,” said Bekah.

From kindergarten through third grade, students learned about math, science and social studies in Chinese. During the English half of the day they learn English language arts, according to the Utah dual language immersion website.

In the sixth grade, social science changes back to Chinese and science shifts to English instruction by the grades 11 trough 12, students will have the opportunity to take upper division university-level coursework through merging learning with six Universities in Utah.

“They should be pretty fluent by the time they graduate high school,” David Evans, Bekah’s father said.

The intention of the program is to give students the opportunity to become bi-lingual  as well  to equip them to meet the challenges of an international community.

The dual immersion program also offers Spanish, German, French and American Sign language.