Doss Elementary Begins Chinese Immersion Program

Guest Blogger: Julie Ermisch

Next year, Doss Elementary will begin its first year of the Chinese Immersion Program.  This is the first program of its kind in central Texas.  Students will be taught in Mandarin Chinese for 50% of the day.  Upon entering the Immersion program, they learn Chinese through 5th grade and then can continue learning Chinese at Murchison Middle School and Anderson High School.  What an exciting opportunity for children to learn this language at a young age!

Where is Doss Elementary?Doss-Elementary-School

Doss Elementary is in the Northwest Hills area of Austin off of Far West Blvd.

What will they be taught in the Immersion Program?

50% of the school day is taught in English and the other half will be taught in Chinese.  Students in the immersion program will receive Math and Science instruction in Mandarin Chinese.  Mandarin Chinese will be the vehicle for content instruction — it is not the subject of instruction.  The Doss Chinese Immersion Program will begin in grades Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade in the fall of the 2013-2014 school year.

How do you enter the program?

For the 2013-2014 school year, there will be one Chinese Immersion class per grade for Kinder, 1st, and 2nd.  So that means 20 students per grade level will enter the program.  All who were interested in the program had to apply and must be attending Doss or registered for Doss.  Each student was evaluated on their comprehension level of Chinese so far.  Students who applied were drawn by lottery with a percentage of the applicants weighted based on their background in Chinese or assessment.  Students who were weighted, were not guaranteed a slot.  For incoming Kindergardeners, it was strictly done by lottery.

It sounds like for the future, there will be consideration for students who have siblings who are already in the program.

What have they been learning this year?

This 2012-2013 school year, Doss began Chinese instruction through the Content Based FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) Model.  All Kindergarten and First grade students received two thirty minute Chinese Language lessons per week with the Chinese instructor.

Why did they choose Chinese?

Chinese-Immesion-ProgramThe mission at Doss Elementary is to prepare students to be globally competent citizens by giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves in other languages.  Dual language immersion education is taking center stage as the most effective and efficient program for preparing linguistically and culturally competent students who can successfully compete in a complex global economy.  Doss also wanted a program that would set them apart and make them different.  Students learning Chinese will be able to take advantages of all these opportunities.

Obtain official information about the Chinese Immersion Program at their site:

The Chinese Immersion Program was featured on KXAN: