Heritage Language Programs - Chinese

Lansing Chinese School

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Address: PO Box 248
Okemos , MI 48864

Contact: Dennie Hoopingarner

Email: hooping4@msu.edu

Telephone: 517-324-3889

Web address: lansingchineseschool.org

Languages taught: Mandarin


Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program:

Type of program: Saturday academy

Program origin: The program was founded in 1986 by local Chinese parents.

Parents' expectations for the program: To maintain a linguistic and cultural link to their heritage country


Countries of origin: China and Taiwan

Total student enrollment: 60

Identification of a heritage speaker: Students who have either been born abroad or have at least one parent who is a native speaker are identified as heritage speakers. In addition, a staff member will conduct a brief interview with each student.

Percentage of students who complete the program: 75%

Percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program: 50%

Possible reasons for not completing the program: Lack of interest and competing activities

Students' attitudes toward the language varieties they speak: Very positive


Number of staff in program: 10

Languages in which staff members are proficient: Mandarin. Each instructor is a native speaker.

Percentage of teaching staff holding a teacher's certificate or license in any given state: 0%

Professional development opportunities teachers have: Workshops and in-service meetings

Professional development opportunities teachers need: Path to certification


Total student contact hours: 3 hours once a week (2 hours of language and 1 hour of culture)

Student grouping: Students are grouped by age and ability

Language Skills

Heritage Skills

Skills and levels of language proficiency students reach by the end of the program: Students are expected to be able to pass the SAT II Chinese exam.


Kind of student identity the program fosters: A positive attitude toward heritage culture and language


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Communicative language teaching


Textbook: Children’s Chinese Reader (Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, ROC, 1994)

Technology used in the program: Computer programs that instruct students how to type in Chinese



Local connections:

Credit or recognition that would be ideal for your students to receive: High school credit

Parent connections with the program: The program develops connections with parents, because the school is run in a co-op format. Parents are expected to participate in school operations.

What the program has in place

Financial support:

Who solicits funding for the program: The principal and board of directors solicit funds for the program.

Special Challenges and Comments

Special Challenges: Dwindling enrollment due to shrinking demographics


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