Chinese language has been offered as an elective at our school for quite a while, but last year, Chinese became a language that students could take in order to meet their foreign language requirement for graduation. As a result of this change, our Chinese language program has exploded! Two years ago our Chinese language teacher taught a few sections of Chinese and she was assigned to teach a few sections of a beginning Library and Technology class. The program grew so quickly that last year the teacher taught Chinese full time and this year the school hired a second middle school Chinese teacher who also teaches Chinese full time.
The greatest thing about the growth of the program is that our two Chinese teachers are so wonderfully resourceful. Our Chinese students record dialogs in the tech center, then upload the files to the class Moodle site. At different times during the semester, they go back and compare their current oral dialog with dialogs they have recorded in the past and assess their own progress. Chinese students also create Chinese language music videos, participate in Chinese song contest, and come into the Tech Center to compose essays (or, I suppose, sentences) in Chinese. The Chinese teachers have brought in Chinese language DVDs for us to add to the colleiton, books in English-Chinese, and they just brought in a Chinese-English magazine that they want me to add to the periodical collection.
The thing is that they’ve had us add this stuff to the collection AND the create assignments that required their students to come in and use the material.
How cool is that!!!