NOW:53217:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
75°
H 81° L 61°
Clear | 7MPH

Mandarin Chinese to replace French

April 25, 2007

Future students will be able to choose between Spanish and Mandarin Chinese within the Fox Point-Bayside School District, School Board members said April 23.

Current sixth- through eighth-graders will continue with French to complete their proficiency.

But, board members decided that the district should try to implement a Chinese program as soon as possible. If the right teacher can be found, next year's sixth-grade students could begin taking the language as early as the 2007-08 school year.

Board members voted unanimously to replace the district's two language offerings - Spanish and French - with Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

The change was made partly because of the retirement of the district's French teacher. A part-time teacher has been recommended to replace the outgoing instructor until the language is phased out.

But, several board members said, the change also was made in keeping with global language shifts and out of a desire to keep the district competitive.

And, it could make the district a linguistic feeder for Nicolet High School, which also has adopted a Mandarin program.

"It's a whole district shift from Romantic languages to something that has been shown to us as the language of the future," Board Clerk Marcy Keefe said. "It's a forward way to go."

Board members spent much of their nearly three-hour meeting discussing not only which languages to choose, but also whether the languages could be taught with the help of a computer program.

After much debate, board members chose to table discussions regarding the Rosetta Stone World Language program.

With Rosetta Stone, students could learn languages varying from Mandarin to Hebrew to Latin with the help of interactive software.

Rosalynn Kiefer, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, acknowledged the "excitement" around the software, because of its options for individual pacing and multiple language offerings.

But, she said, the software would not replace a teacher.

Rather, Kiefer said, a teacher would be able to guide students through the software. After mastering basic concepts, the teacher could guide immersion-driven exercises, such as speaking in Mandarin Chinese.

Board members agreed that a Mandarin-speaking teacher would be best.

The software could cost about $8,200 in the first two years, plus about $10,400 to create a 21-computer language lab.

Members said it would be best to wait and see if a teacher could be found before buying any language software. The Rosetta Stone issue will be tabled until then, although members agreed the program has promise.

"This does not mean the board isn't in favor of Rosetta Stone," Board President Brenda Levatich said.

"I like the direction," Levatich said. "I think the whole board does. But it's a big change. What if we commit and it doesn't take off?"

Board Treasurer Gail Becker also seemed in no hurry.

"I would love to say, 'Yes, we'll make this change,'" Becker said. "If we can do it next year, we will. If we can't, we won't."

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Glendale cop shot, injured after chasing alleged Porsche thief 05:28 PM

» Armed robbery avoided with a push at Brown Deer Walmart 12:58 PM

» Police chase, gunfire began with Porsche stolen at gunpoint Updated:  8/1

» Tochi in Shorewood is closing 7/31

» Lipscomb selected to replace Dimitrijevic as board chair 7/30

» Football coach Drake Zortman leaves Shorewood/Messmer for Homestead Updated:  7/29

» Senior-heavy Nicolet baseball team showed improvement this season 7/29

» Shorewood baseball team struggles with youth 7/29

» Whitefish Bay memorializes woman killed in crosswalk Updated:  7/29

» Brown Deer baseball team hung together despite tough season 7/29

» Shorewood debates trick-or-treat times Updated:  7/29

» Glendale evaluates city hall improvements 7/28

» 'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale Updated:  7/28

» North Shore communities react to state ban on municipal home inspections at time of sale 7/27

» Brown Deer closes on sale of former American TV and Appliance building 7/27

» Woman robbed at gunpoint at Brown Deer bank 7/27

» Bizarre play leads to Homestead "9" sectional loss to Falls 7/22

» North Shore area baseball teams drop tough regional contests 7/22

» Whitefish Bay baseball team comes up just short of Falls in regional thriller 7/22

» Brown Deer municipal buildings need improvements 7/22

» The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level 7/22

» Mequon seeks to develop 13 acres in town center district 7/22

» Niebrugge makes Homestead High proud again with finish at British Open 7/22

» Thiensville apartment developer agrees to consider smaller condominium development 7/22

» Whitefish Bay man allegedly charged officer with knives, screamed 'kill me' in officer-involved shooting 7/21

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT    

Advertisement