2018 National Chinese Language Conference
Utah Chinese Dual Language Immersion Program: In the Words of Stakeholders
Saturday, May 19, 8:30–9:30 a.m.
Over the past decade, dual language immersion (DLI) programs have grown quickly in number and size across Utah. At this point, nearly 11,000 students are enrolled in the program across 55 schools studying Chinese or other world languages. Join us for a unique inside look at the impact of the DLI program, by hearing from stakeholders involved with the program. You'll have an opportunity to hear from administrators, as well as teachers, students and parent perspectives. Join us for this inspiring and insightful conversation to understand how the Chinese DLI initiative is transforming lives.
- Stacy Lyon, Utah Chinese Dual Language Immersion Director, Utah Office of Education
- Piper Riddle, Principal, Heber Valley Elementary
- Marybeth Fuller, Dual Language Immersion Coordinator, Washington County School District
- Gilda Hansen, Parent, Weber School District
- Youyin Yao, Chinese teacher, Draper Elementary School
- Xiaoqian Xu, 1st Grade Chinese Teacher, Wasatch Elementary
- Julie Porter, 1st Grade English Partner Teacher, Wasatch Elementary
- Mark Geilman, Corner Canyon High School, Canyons School District
- McKay Larsen, Corner Canyon High School, Canyons School District
About the Speakers
Stacy Lyon oversees the nearly 11,000 students and 200 Chinese teachers currently participating in the Utah K–12 Chinese Dual Language Immersion Program. This includes 54 schools with an additional 10 programs anticipated for joining in the 2018–2019 school year.
Prior to accepting her present role representing the Utah State Board of Education, Ms. Lyon was the World Language Director at a public charter school in Utah, where she taught Chinese for 7 years and built a K–9 Chinese language program. In this capacity, she also led the development and expansion of K–9 Arabic and Spanish FLES programs. In 2011m the school was named a Confucius Classroom through Asia Society and HanBan.
Ms. Lyon has a passion for designing curriculum and played a major role in the development of the literacy materials used in the Utah Chinese DLI program. She is an advocate for effective support of international teachers and creating training systems and tools to help them bridge to U.S. classrooms. She received a B.S. from Brigham Young University in Early Childhood and Elementary education, and an M.A. from the University of Washington in Music Education. She is currently doing post-graduate studies at Utah State University in Educational Leadership. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker, having studied, lived, and worked in Taiwan for 12 years in addition to studying Chinese at Northeast Normal University in China.
Piper Riddle received an Education Specialist degree from Utah State, and a Master's degree in Elementary Education from Southern Utah University, and a Bachelor's from Boise State University. She has endorsements in both math and reading and has worked as a instructional specialist in both content areas. She has worked for 13 years in the elementary setting, including as a 4th grade teacher, 5th grade teacher, and as an Instructional Coach for grades Pre-K–5.
Piper also worked for seven years in private practice as a professional tutor and an educational consultant, supporting students Pre-K–12.
Piper has worked with the Utah Dual Immersion Project for nine years, and supported the Chinese Dual Immersion program specifically as a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at the district level (Canyons School District) for four of those years, as principal of a Chinese dual immersion school for four years (Draper Elementary), and is currently principal at a Spanish dual immersion school (Heber Valley Elementary). She has also worked with a team at the Utah state level to map the literacy core and the math core for dual immersion classrooms.
Her areas of expertise include student engagement strategies, arts integration, technology integration, differentiating instruction, second language learning, instructional coaching, interventions for at-risk students, and strong content knowledge in both literacy and mathematics.
Marybeth Fuller serves as the Dual Language Immersion Coordinator for the Washington County School District in Saint George, Utah, since 2010. Marybeth earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Brigham Young University and a Master of Science in Counseling. She has over 30 years of proven achievement in varying public and private sector projects in Washington, Oregon, California, and now Utah.
Her work with Washington County School District has led to the growth of one of Utah's largest dual language immersion programs. She is currently serving as the ACTFL Dual Immersion SIG Vice Chair. Experienced as an educator and counselor, she understands the competitive edge students need in a global economy. Marybeth continues to advocate strong, school-based K–16 language immersion programs.
Gilda Hansen is a mother to two daughters who both participate in the Chinese Immersion Program at Uintah Elementary School. She currently teaches pre-K for Weber School District and taught kindergarten previously. Gilda has spent the majority of her professional career in the education system. She graduated from Weber State University with a BA in Sociology with a minor in Spanish and a certification with the Division of Child and Family Services. Gilda keeps busy with an active family, enjoys the outdoors, reading, and is currently pursuing her Master's of Education.
Yinyao You graduated from Fujian Normal University in China with a major in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. He has three years Chinese teaching experience in Thailand and four years Chinese Dual Immersion teaching experience in the United States.
My name is Xiaoqian Xu. I come from Beijing, China. I graduated from Capital Normal University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and taught 3 years as a kindergarten teacher in my hometown of Beijing. In 2008, I came to the U.S. and applied for graduate school at the University of Utah. I completed a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. During my graduate study, I first heard about the dual language immersion program. This program interested me from the beginning. I discovered that there was one of the first dual-immersion programs in Mandarin Chinese near my home in Provo at Wasatch Elementary School.
I decided to volunteer there for a half of a year in the first grade classroom with Mrs. West and was able to take over her position in the 2010–2013 school year after she left. I have now been teaching Mandarin Chinese in the dual Immersion program for the last 6 years. It has been fun to see how quickly young children can learn and carry on a conversation with me in Mandarin after just a relatively short amount of instruction. It is always so fun to close my eyes and listen to what I think is a Native speaker in Mandarin and open my eyes to see a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed child talking to me!
Hello! My name is Julie Porter. I have been teaching for 27 years—15 years as a kindergarten teacher and 12 years as a first-grade teacher. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University in Indiana. I have been teaching in a Chinese Dual Immersion classroom for the last nine years and I have loved it! I helped to start the program at Wasatch Elementary School in the Provo School District for the 2009–2010 school year with my partner, Nancy West. After she left Wasatch in 2012 to pursue a higher degree, I have had the privilege to work with Xiaoqian Xu for the last six years. It has been so wonderful to work with these two amazing teachers and watch as over 450 students have had the opportunity to learn a second language at such a young age.
For the last 5 years, I have worked with the Utah State Office of Education at their AUDII conference in helping to train new English partner teachers from all over the state. In 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to China through the generosity of the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah and Hanban of Beijing. It was a fulfillment of a lifetime dream to see China and I grew to love the Chinese culture even more. I believe in the dual-immersion program and am thrilled to be a part of helping children learn a second language!
Mark Geilman is 15 years old and has been studying Chinese since he was 6. His dual language immersion experience started in the 1st grade at Draper Elementary, and continues today as a freshman at Corner Canyon High School. He is the sixth of seven children, with 5 older brothers and a younger sister, who is also a Chinese immersion student. He loves to read, run, throw javelin, and work with his hands. Mark has enjoyed the immersion program, which has not only taught him the language, but also an appreciation of Chinese culture and people. He has impressed native and non-native speakers with his language skills and accent.
McKay Larsen began the immersion program in its first year at Draper Elementary. He continued at Draper Park Middle School where he earned through his efforts the first annual Viking Scholar in foreign language and a $150 scholarship. Last year he was able to travel to Maryland with another student from his school where they competed in the national Bridge competition in Chinese. They were awarded first place. McKay will take the AP Chinese test in May. In addition to Chinese, McKay excels in school and also in swimming, where he was able to set two new school records for Corner Canyon High School as a freshman this year.