Barrington's “Bridge to Chinese” is a K-12 language and culture program designed to develop pre-advanced speakers of Chinese by graduation from Barrington High School. This program was initiated with the support of a 2010 Federal Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant, a long standing program of the United States Department of Education. This federal grant was discontinued nationwide in the spring of 2012. However, the Barrington 220 Board of Education decided to continue the program in order to fulfill the original vision.
In 2009, Chinese language classes began at both Barrington Middle School locations as well as at Barrington High School through a “21st Century Language Learning” grant from the Illinois State Board of Education. This secondary program has grown steadily each year. A robust program will be in place by the time our first cohort of elementary immersion students reaches 6th grade (fall of 2016).
The Chinese immersion program (a 50-50 model) began in the 2011-12 school year with both a kindergarten and a first grade cohort (approximately 90 students). More than 160 students are currently enrolled in grades K-3 across 2 separate schools in the district. Each year, an additional grade level cohort will be added to the program until a complete K-12 track is established. When the immersion students reach the middle and high school levels, they will continue their study of Chinese through the content areas, while the amount of class time devoted to Chinese Language Arts will decrease. The specific design of the secondary program is under development.For answers to further questions, please contact Becky Wiegel, Director of Language Programs and Grants firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-842-3522.This student writing sample from first grade reads: "Hi, my name is... I am six years old. I like to swim. I also like to read. I like eating watermelon. I have one dog. I love my family. This is my dog. This is me."