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ERIC Number: EJ871241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
Bringing Chinese Immersion to Western Massachusetts
Wang, Kathleen
Learning Languages, v15 n1 p18-19, 41 Fall 2009
This article describes the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS), a regional public charter school in western Massachusetts, which opened in 2007 and the only Chinese immersion school in New England. The school draws students from over twenty-five towns and cities in a predominantly rural area of Massachusetts that includes the largest and poorest city in western Massachusetts, and the poorest county in Massachusetts. In 2008, it received a five-year FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) grant in partnership with the University of Massachusetts. The school currently serves grades K-3 and 6. The 6th grade is the inaugural class of its middle school program. Each year two grades, one at the elementary and one at the middle school, will be added. When the school first opened, it had 42 students in K and 1st grades. Each year the school has doubled in size and its current enrollment is 150 students. As a public charter school, it is tuition free. There are no entrance criteria and admission is by lottery. Each year, it has had a waiting list for enrollment. Students may enter the school in K, 1st or 6th grades. PVCICS's program is a one-way immersion program. Over 95% of students do not have Chinese language support outside of school and most are not ethnically Chinese or Asian. This student body is somewhat representative of the region of service though more ethnically diverse. The few students who do have Chinese language support outside of school typically enter the school with oral proficiency in social language but little or no ability to read or write Chinese characters. This is expected as most are entering K or 1st grades when literacy skills are emerging and because most were born in the United States.
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 6; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; United States