Resources for Parents
Chinese Early Learning and Immersion Network (CELIN)
On this page you'll find links to research and resources for parents interested in early and immersion Chinese language education. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome your contributions and feedback.
Be Bilingual—Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families
In this book, Annika Bourgogne links the research on how multilingualism is possible and beneficial with practical, fun, and useful ideas for helping children become active bilinguals or multilinguals in their daily lives. The book shows families how to make multilingualism work in their busy lives. Multilingual families from around the world share their best resources and tips on how to make growing up with two or more languages an enjoyable experience. This book is available from Amazon.
The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language
This book, by Kendall King and Alison Mackey, is written for parents who are interested in helping their children reap the benefits of learning more than one language. It clearly outlines the benefits of being bilingual; dispels myths that are held about bilingualism and language learning; and gives practical tips to help parents select the language that will most benefit their child, find the most effective language education materials and programs, and identify ways that families can promote language learning at home. This book is available from Amazon.
A Parent’s Guide to Mandarin Immersion
Elizabeth Weise, a science reporter for USA Today who has studied Chinese and studied and worked in China, has published a resource for parents with children in a Chinese immersion program based on her years of experience with a Mandarin immersion program in California. In this book, she describes the Chinese immersion experience from a parent’s perspective and provides guidance on topics she struggled with. The book is available from CreateSpace.
"Lessons for Americans, From a Chinese Classroom," Perri Klass, The New York Times, 20 January 2020
An American physician goes to Shanghai, China, to teach at a college as a professor on Children and Childhood. He and his students from all over the world visit a preschool bilingual classroom in which Chinese 2- and 3-year olds are becoming bilingual and are fully engaged. He and his students are impressed, and he ponders what he could have done for his own children to help them become bilingual.
"Why some parents choose bilingual education for their children," Post and Courier, 2 July 2018
Paul Bowers describes a parent's selection of a bilingual preschool (Mandarin and English and Spanish and English) for her child in South Carolina and the results, with the child speaking the language without an accent, as if she had grown up speaking the language, which she did. He reviews research on the benefits of bilingual education for brain development and lists public Mandarin language immersion schools in South Carolina.
"The brain science of bilingualism," Young Children, May 2017
Based on a strong review of the research on brain functioning and bilingualism, Naja Ferjan Ramirez and Patricia Kuhl describe the processes that children’s brains follow as they become bilingual, the benefits/advantages of bilingualism, and ways that parents and teachers can work with children to develop their bilingual capacity.
Websites and Contacts
Resources for Parents with Children in Mandarin Immersion Programs
In this publication, Elizabeth Weise gives websites and email lists that will be helpful for parents whose children are studying Chinese.
This Multilingual FAQ, published by the California Department of Education, contains very helpful responses to a list of frequently asked questions on immersion programs, instructional approaches, and other issues for those working with multilingual learners.