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Old 06-15-2012, 07:39 AM
 
28 posts, read 131,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBrown713 View Post
mistype, polyglots, I want them to be able to travel to multiple continents and still be able to speak a language, Africa-French and portuguese, South America-Spanish and Portuguese, Asia-Mandarin, Europe-Spanish and Italian.

I probably can wait a few years to fully incoporate Spanish so they can focus on getting the tones and basics in Mandarin. I just wanted to start early with the languages because it would be easier and less work later.


Thank you all for the input.
My friend's child began French and Mandarin in the same year with much success. A younger child's brain is more adapt at learning multiple languages, than that of an older child or an adult.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:01 AM
 
Location: American Expat
2,189 posts, read 4,892,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBrown713 View Post
mistype, polyglots, I want them to be able to travel to multiple continents and still be able to speak a language, Africa-French and portuguese, South America-Spanish and Portuguese, Asia-Mandarin, Europe-Spanish and Italian.

I probably can wait a few years to fully incoporate Spanish so they can focus on getting the tones and basics in Mandarin. I just wanted to start early with the languages because it would be easier and less work later.


Thank you all for the input.
Well, and I want to be a Millionaire.

You learn a new language because you like the language. Like, I'm attempting to learn Vietnamese because I like the country and the people.
China is like Nazi Germany. No day goes by without a story coming out of China proving just that. Everybody gets killed, abused, aborted, imprisoned etc. I'm having a hard time finding anything positive about learning Chinese.
English is the most important language. And more than enough "French speaking" countries in Africa where up to 80% of the population does not speak French but their African languages like Bantu etc. Can't come up with a reason why you'd want to go there anyway.
The Africans who are here speak English very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14Bricks View Post
Its not generalized, the only people I see who only speak spanish are poor low skill/low wage immigrants. The hispanics I know who are educated or have good jobs speak only english. As far as dual languages having better career opportunities tell that to the people who have been here over a decade and still speak only spanish.
lol
And he pretty much sums it up why speaking Spanish won't get you anywhere in the U.S. Might not be a nice thing to say, but it's the truth. Those who don't speak English aren't in a position to give you "better career opportunities".
Again, it's English.


Bottom line: I would ask your child what language he or she thinks he/she is interested in. Sounds like you're making the decisions here. That won't get your kid anywhere.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:11 AM
 
28 posts, read 131,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
The number one factor that causes the student to succeed is having a good attitude towards education, not the curriculum. In wealthier areas, parents and student typically have pro-education attitudes. In many not so nice areas in Houston, this is not the case. Go talk to a student at Worthing High School, for instance, and you will hear of students who don't care. When there are lots of them, they will harass people who do try to do well in school, and people complain "I don't wanna be a schoolboy, that's not cool!" - pmmd, that is the reason why HISD is having problems in many of its schools.

And that is one reason why we ultimately chose to avoid public schools, even though Mandarin was attractive. My child has been counting down the days until Agust since before the school year ended and so have his classmates. Other children that I encounter from public schools and some some other private school children are not even remotely interested n returning to school. Missing school is torture.

Having said that, there is a possibility that you may have some legitimate concerns. "The principle even admitted to only having recently visited the school in Utah that serves as the MCLIMS model." for instance, that is a legitimate issue.

"MCLIMS like all other HISD and Texas schools will teach to STAAR standards, which has not had a chance to prove it self as a better alternative to TAKS which is/was a dismal failure. " - The most prestigious HISD schools and/or the best HISD programs teach beyond STAAR, to pre-AP and AP, or pre-IB and IB standards. I would ask if the curriculum is good preparatory for pre-AP/pre-IB. River Oaks, Roberts, and Twain have pre-IB elementary programs, for instance. Lanier MS has IB for middle school, and Lamar has IB for high school.

AP...focuses on rote memorization of facts and details, and fails to incorporate critical and abstract thinking. Lama and Bellaire don't readily publish their IB rates. In 2005, only 24 students passed, which is low for a school with over 3,000 students. IB instruction is considered effective when 95% or more of all students pass the exam. Bellaire handpicks a small pool of students to receive IB instruction and then an even smaller percentage passes, I don't consider that to be a success.

The parents in the West U/Bellaire/etc. area often send their kids to AP and IB programs in high school if they go public, and they do teach beyond STAAR. An HISD elementary school worth its salt would prepare for Pre-AP and Pre-IB in middle school.

"22 students is far to many to have in a classroom with students (without an assistant) of varying levels and abilities, especially when a moderately difficult foreign language takes up 50% of the day." - A foreign language can be initially difficult for kids, but they overcome it. See this NYT story about American kids who went to a Russian school, with no Russian abilities: My Family?s Experiment in Extreme Schooling - NYTimes.com - Secondly, did you ask the school "What is the average class size?" I have no worries that any child is unable to learn a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language with out major difficulty, but I am not convinced that 22 students in a classroom with students of varying ability is a productive situation. MCLIMS students were/are not selected based on ability or IQ, which does not trouble me, but it will ensure that one teacher is required to differentiate instruction for multiple skill levels without an assistant. That is not reassuring. MCLIMS is still accepting applications so even they don't know the actual classroom average as that number changes with each new admission.

"Some questions the administration could not answer" - Which questions are they?
[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]These were my top questions...

The principle has some vague idea as to what Mandarin instruction will be offered beyond the fifth grade. I need specifics, even if the best plans fail, I need to know how will my child maintain and build about what was learned in grades 1-5.

No specifics as to when and what after school programming(nothing other than basic childcare by the YMCA) would be offered.

There is no set date as to when the library will be stocked with Chinese books. [/color]
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:05 AM
 
4,778 posts, read 8,681,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmd View Post
The principle has some vague idea as to what Mandarin instruction will be offered beyond the fifth grade.
The school won't offer Mandarin instruction beyond the fifth grade, because the school stops there. You would ask Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire (which offers Chinese). It would be something that the school would co-ordinate with Pin Oak or other middle schools. There's also the option of sending a kid to a private school after he/she finishes at Mandarin Immersion.

Quote:
No specifics as to when and what after school programming(nothing other than basic childcare by the YMCA) would be offered.
- Yes, this is important. River Oaks Elementary, for instance, has a wide variety of after school programs and that's one reason why it's popular.

Quote:
There is no set date as to when the library will be stocked with Chinese books.
- This is important too. The school needs to get a firm date ASAP.

Quote:
I have no worries that any child is unable to learn a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language with out major difficulty, but I am not convinced that 22 students in a classroom with students of varying ability is a productive situation. MCLIMS students were/are not selected based on ability or IQ, which does not trouble me, but it will ensure that one teacher is required to differentiate instruction for multiple skill levels without an assistant. That is not reassuring. MCLIMS is still accepting applications so even they don't know the actual classroom average as that number changes with each new admission.
http://dept.houstonisd.org/mandarin-...-to-apply.html still shows an active application form with no due date, so its apps are still going on. It may be good to ask when the apps will end, so that you will know what the class size is. The school should plan ahead if the student ability varies to a wide degree. pmmd, I would read this article on the Rice School and how it had turmoil in the early 1990s partly because of the ability disparity in the students: http://www.houstonpress.com/1997-08-...e-rice-school/ - A question to ask could be "Is this school attracting a large number of parents who are enrolling their children simply to take them away from their home elementary schools, and not due to the merits of the program?" - The Rice school had many of those students in the early 1990s.

Quote:
And that is one reason why we ultimately chose to avoid public schools, even though Mandarin was attractive.
Pmmd, my point is that the problem of lazy/unmotivated parents and students who are lazy/unmotivated and have nobody to call them out on it doesn't really exist in schools which ask people for applications. A public magnet can remove students who do not meet the school's standards - A zoned school is stuck with students who do not care... until they drop out or commit an expellable offense. -- Bellaire and Lamar, described below, have separate "magnet" and advanced programs, and regular programs for people who are zoned and do not want to do college prep.

Quote:
AP...focuses on rote memorization of facts and details, and fails to incorporate critical and abstract thinking.
Pmmd, the College Board has been revamping AP tests to take away emphasis from rote memorization: ROTE MEMORIZATION? FORGET IT! CHANGES TO AP EXAMS REFLECT NEW PHILOSOPHY - In any case, I think everyone here will agree that AP is far more rigorous and has more critical thinking than STAAR. Also, AP today is the de facto national standard for college preparation. For the high school level, if you want more than AP, and more than IB, if IB is to be considered better than AP, you are going beyond what is considered "college preparation" - If that is a correct assessment of what you want... it's not a bad thing, but it also needs to be acknowledged as a niche requirement, and not an inadequacy in the public school system.

Quote:
Lama and Bellaire don't readily publish their IB rates.
I do think they should publish the rates.

Quote:
In 2005, only 24 students passed, which is low for a school with over 3,000 students.
- Not all of the 3,000 are in the IB program. First take the number of students in IB. Getting the IB diploma is extremely rigorous and it is considered to be a huge honor if you pass. It would also help getting rates of kids who pass some IB tests, but do not get the full IB diploma. For college prep, Bellaire is mostly AP, while Lamar only has a few AP programs and stresses IB.

Quote:
IB instruction is considered effective when 95% or more of all students pass the exam.
- Do you have a source? Who says this?

Quote:
Bellaire handpicks a small pool of students to receive IB instruction and then an even smaller percentage passes, I don't consider that to be a success.
But in order for your child to be "handpicked" you would have to motivate your child to perform well, or the child has to motivate himself/herself to perform well. I'm sure you can pressure your child into performing, and then he/she would be chosen in that manner. Again, success in school is chiefly about motivation.

Quote:
My child has been counting down the days until Agust since before the school year ended and so have his classmates. Other children that I encounter from public schools and some some other private school children are not even remotely interested n returning to school. Missing school is torture.
It's great to hear that your child likes school. Anyway, what city are you originating from?

Maybe this will help us assess your comments: What kind of private school did your child attend? Houston has different varieties of private schools with differing qualities. Not all private schools are the same. Also Houston has relatively expensive private schools (In New Orleans, AFAIK private schools are far more inexpensive)

Last edited by Vicman; 06-15-2012 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: InnerLoop
366 posts, read 703,001 times
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I would not leave it up to my children at that age to decide what language they would learn. This is a decision the parents should make. Otherwise, I'm sure they'd rather learn pig Latin than something of value.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:32 PM
 
28 posts, read 131,970 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
The school won't offer Mandarin instruction beyond the fifth grade, because the school stops there. You would ask Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire (which offers Chinese). It would be something that the school would co-ordinate with Pin Oak or other middle schools. There's also the option of sending a kid to a private school after he/she finishes at Mandarin Immersion.

- Yes, this is important. River Oaks Elementary, for instance, has a wide variety of after school programs and that's one reason why it's popular.

- This is important too. The school needs to get a firm date ASAP.

Quote:
There are other schools that offer Mandarin in HISD, but none that are prepared for the level required once the first class leaves MCLIMS. HISD should have a solid idea as to what options are available to children once they leave MCLIMS. After 4 years of Mandarin Immersion, the entering 2nd grade class will not require the same level of instruction as a students learning Mandarin for the first time, or a student who has only studied the language a few days a week in a traditional elementary school.

I would hate to start a language ad then not have sufficient ongoing opportunities for my child to remain proficient in Mandarin.


HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School | Houston ISD still shows an active application form with no due date, so its apps are still going on. It may be good to ask when the apps will end, so that you will know what the class size is. The school should plan ahead if the student ability varies to a wide degree. pmmd, I would read this article on the Rice School and how it had turmoil in the early 1990s partly because of the ability disparity in the students: What Went Wrong at the Rice School? - Page 1 - News - Houston - Houston Press - A question to ask could be "Is this school attracting a large number of parents who are enrolling their children simply to take them away from their home elementary schools, and not due to the merits of the program?" - The Rice school had many of those students in the early 1990s.



Pmmd, my point is that the problem of lazy/unmotivated parents and students who are lazy/unmotivated and have nobody to call them out on it doesn't really exist in schools which ask people for applications. A public magnet can remove students who do not meet the school's standards - A zoned school is stuck with students who do not care... until they drop out or commit an expellable offense. -- Bellaire and Lamar, described below, have separate "magnet" and advanced programs, and regular programs for people who are zoned and do not want to do college prep.



Pmmd, the College Board has been revamping AP tests to take away emphasis from rote memorization: ROTE MEMORIZATION? FORGET IT! CHANGES TO AP EXAMS REFLECT NEW PHILOSOPHY - In any case, I think everyone here will agree that AP is far more rigorous and has more critical thinking than STAAR. Also, AP today is the de facto national standard for college preparation. For the high school level, if you want more than AP, and more than IB, if IB is to be considered better than AP, you are going beyond what is considered "college preparation" - If that is a correct assessment of what you want... it's not a bad thing, but it also needs to be acknowledged as a niche requirement, and not an inadequacy in the public school system.

I do think they should publish the rates.

- Not all of the 3,000 are in the IB program. First take the number of students in IB. Getting the IB diploma is extremely rigorous and it is considered to be a huge honor if you pass. It would also help getting rates of kids who pass some IB tests, but do not get the full IB diploma. For college prep, Bellaire is mostly AP, while Lamar only has a few AP programs and stresses IB.

- Do you have a source? Who says this?

Quote:
Contact the IB association. I have spoken with them, and IB administrators at several schools and each source shared the same information

But in order for your child to be "handpicked" you would have to motivate your child to perform well, or the child has to motivate himself/herself to perform well. I'm sure you can pressure your child into performing, and then he/she would be chosen in that manner. Again, success in school is chiefly about motivation.

Quote:
I agree, but I would rather my child attend a school where all students are expected to complete an IB course of study, rather than a selected few.


It's great to hear that your child likes school. Anyway, what city are you originating from?

Maybe this will help us assess your comments: What kind of private school did your child attend? Houston has different varieties of private schools with differing qualities. Not all private schools are the same. Also Houston has relatively expensive private schools (In New Orleans, AFAIK private schools are far more inexpensive)
Quote:
I moved to Houston in 2008, and my child has attended the same Pk-12 Private immersion school for three years. His current school does not offer a Mandarin immersion program, only after school instruction. We are HAPPY with the current school, but the idea of Mandarin was quite appealing, until I weighed the pros and cons of his current private school compared to HISD policies and curriculum.

I never considered public schools in the past, but the idea of Mandarin compelled me to take a first look. I was simply sharing my opinion of MCLIMS and why it was not a good fit for us, not searching for suggestions for a school. But I have enjoyed the conversation.
Do you work for HISD or another school system?
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:35 PM
 
4,778 posts, read 8,681,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmd View Post
Do you work for HISD or another school system?
No.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:02 PM
 
4,778 posts, read 8,681,934 times
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On the subject of middle school I looked at the FAQ: HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School | Houston ISD

"HISD currently offers Mandarin Chinese at the following campuses:

Middle schools: Johnston, Pershing, Pin Oak, and Lanier
High schools: Bellaire, Houston Academy for International Studies, Lamar, and the International High School at Sharpstown.
The district is also exploring the possibility of offering a Mandarin Chinese immersion program at the middle-school level."

Until/unless HISD opens a Mandarin immersion middle school program, the best way to determine what would be available after the fifth grade is to contact the middle schools or look into a private school that offers Mandarin.

Another thing, PMMD: - Assuming you enrolled the child for the Mandarin school the upcoming fall 2012-spring 2013 school year, but haven't enrolled him/her into a private school in place of the Mandarin school, it may be very difficult to get into a preferred private school - many have many applicants and have admission periods that may have already ended. You might have to wait until next year
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:40 PM
 
28 posts, read 131,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
On the subject of middle school I looked at the FAQ: HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School | Houston ISD

"HISD currently offers Mandarin Chinese at the following campuses:

Middle schools: Johnston, Pershing, Pin Oak, and Lanier
High schools: Bellaire, Houston Academy for International Studies, Lamar, and the International High School at Sharpstown.
The district is also exploring the possibility of offering a Mandarin Chinese immersion program at the middle-school level."

Until/unless HISD opens a Mandarin immersion middle school program, the best way to determine what would be available after the fifth grade is to contact the middle schools or look into a private school that offers Mandarin.

Another thing, PMMD: - Assuming you enrolled the child for the Mandarin school the upcoming fall 2012-spring 2013 school year, but haven't enrolled him/her into a private school in place of the Mandarin school, it may be very difficult to get into a preferred private school - many have many applicants and have admission periods that may have already ended. You might have to wait until next year
I don't think that I will have a problem getting my child into our preferred private school. We applied in Fall of 2008, my child was accepted in the spring of 2009, and he entered the school in the Fall of 2009 so for the next 12 years (I hope) we are content, unless a better opportunity comes along. But thank you for the advice, lots of parents would be wise to begin the search 18 month to 2 years in advance, instead of waiting 3 months before the start of a new school year.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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I totally agree with you on everything, But we can't afford private school in Houston. Plus I am Frugal and prefer to save all of that money for high school private and college. I advanced both of my kids a grade up through homeschool. So they are technically ahead a grade level and learning more than kids their age at schools in HISD. plus I can use that money for other things like Piano and Violin lessons that will also ignite new brain cells.

It was easier when I was reinforcing what my kids have already learned in school but when I saw there was a gap in what they were capable of learning plus the outrageous age requirement to start school then I had to take the wheel and homeschool. It was a sacrifice I had to make and I know I am sacrificing again if I send them to the Mandarin school but I do feel it is an opportunity they wouldn't have any other way. Hopefully the school won't be lacking education wise and the students will come from backgrounds that would put education first. Obviously they should being they are putting this foreign language first.

Thanks you for the links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmd View Post
As a parent, it is my responsibility to oversee my child's education, but I should not have to expect him to to submit to extra lessons to make up for the shortfall in the school's curriculum, nor should I have to reinvent the wheel. I don't want to teach my child because their is a gap in the curriculum, but instead reinforce what is learned in the classroom and introduce concepts that are not common to the classroom. I never once said that I want to leave the instruction up to the teacher, but I want my child's time spent in the classroom to be productive. There is nothing introduced in the First grade curriculum that my child was not taught in kindergarten at his current school, changing him to MCLIMS, even with gifted instruction, would not prove to be beneficial to his academic progress.

Last edited by LisaBrown713; 06-15-2012 at 05:58 PM..
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