Barrington’s Bridge to Chinese
Barrington's Bridge to Chinese is our K-16 Chinese language and culture program that is a Barrington 220 designed curriculum to develop pre-advanced speakers of Chinese by graduation from Barrington High School. Our post secondary partner is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This program was created with the support of a Federal Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant, a long standing program of the United States Department of Education. In July of 2010, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 was awarded a $1.5 million grant over a five year period to implement the locally designed project. Barrington 220 was one of 22 districts nationally to receive this grant and the only one in Illinois in 2010.
Barrington's Bridge to Chinese is a three-phase project: elementary immersion, secondary Chinese and university studies. The secondary portion of the program is already in place in grades 6-12. In 2009, Mandarin Chinese began at both Barrington Middle School locations as well as at Barrington High School through a matching grant from the Illinois State Board of Education's Arts and Foreign Language Grant entitled “21st Century Language Learning”. The secondary program will continue to grow each year until the full five-year curriculum is in place.
The elementary portion of the project began at the start of the 2011-12 school year with kindergarten and first grade sections taught in a 50-50 immersion model. Students learn the grade level objectives in both English and Chinese. Each year, an additional grade level will be added to the program in elementary school. When the immersion students reach the middle and high school levels, they will continue their study of Chinese in specific classes designed for them, but will decrease the amount of class time spent learning in Chinese. The specific design of the middle school program is currently being developed.
The university phase of the project is in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university's role is to provide feedback to the professional staff of Barrington 220 and design plans for students to continue their studies of Chinese at a high level of fluency. In this manner, students who enter the elementary program will be able to develop advanced skills in Chinese by the time they finish university studies. There is no expectation that students will attend the University of Illinois or that they are guaranteed acceptance to the university.