Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC)
Engineering is Elementary® Units

MMIC Curriculum Development Project

Project Leaders

Tara Fortune Tara Fortune
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)
Tara Fortune earned her Ph.D. in the University of Minnesota's Second Languages and Cultures Program in Curriculum & Instruction. Today she works as an immersion curriculum and instruction specialist and coordinator of the Immersion Research and Professional Development Project at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota. In partnership with Molly Wieland, Tara developed the vision for the Global Literacy through Mandarin Immersion and STEM Project and led the work of the curriculum and assessment teams. 

Dr. Fortune's recent publications include "What the Research Says About Immersion," a chapter in Chinese Language Learning in the Early Grades (2012, Asia Society), a co-edited volume on immersion research, Immersion Education: Practices, Policies, Possibilities (2011, Multilingual Matters Ltd.),  and Struggling Learners & Language Immersion Education (2010, University of Minnesota). Tara is also on the editorial board of the new Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education (John Benjamins Publishing).
Molly Wieland
Hopkins Public Schools
Molly Wieland received her Pd.D. in French Linguistics from Indiana University in 1990, specializing in second language acquisition and cross-cultural communication. She has been working in the Hopkins Public Schools since 1995. During her tenure as World Language Coordinator, she was instrumental in bringing the XinXing Chinese immersion program to the district in 2007. She is currently the Chinese immersion program coordinator and high school French teacher. She served as project director for the Global Literacy Through Mandarin Immersion and STEM project.

Core Project Team

Ka Po Chow Ka Po Chow
Second Languages and Cultures Program
Before coming to the U.S., Ka Po earned her bachelor degree in Chinese language and literacy teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Ka Po spent five years teaching Chinese as a foreign/ heritage language in the international and public schools. She also served as a Putonghua (Mandarin) examiner for the Hong Kong Certificate Examination and as a teacher representative for Mainland China's High School Chinese Curriculum Reform in Shanghai. In spring 2011, Ka Po earned her Master of Education (M.Ed.) in second language and culture teaching at the University of Minnesota. After obtaining her Master’s degree, she became an immersion teacher at Madison Elementary Guang Ming Academy in St Cloud Public Schools and taught during the 2011-2012 academic year. She participated as a member of the curriculum and assessment team as an M.Ed. student and again in the fall of 2012. Her interest is to be an effective curriculum designer, generating clear language objectives and feasible methods and assessments in teaching. 
Kaishan Kong Kaishan Kong
Second Languages and Cultures Program
Kaishan is a Ph.D. student in Second Languages and Cultures Education at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Education in China and her Master of Arts in Intercultural Communication at the University of Sheffield in England. She taught English at college level in China for 6 years and was involved in many intercultural activities. After coming to the United States, she taught Chinese at K-12 schools and universities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a graduate assistant for the University of Minnesota’s Confucius Institute, she teaches Chinese classes for the community and participates in teacher training programs. Kaishan enjoys language learning and teaching and hopes to be part of the ongoing communication between China and the United States.
Jing-Huey Lin Jing-Huey Lin
Instructional Technology Program
Jing-Huey was born and raised in Taipei City, Taiwan. Before she came to the States, she earned a B.A. in Chinese Literature and minored in Education in National Chengchi University. She taught Chinese Language Arts in a junior high school in Taiwan for five years. Jing-Huey earned her M.Ed. in Learning Technologies in 2007 and continues to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Learning Technologies, Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota since 2009. She worked on this project between 2009-2011 and focused on the design of electronic whiteboard materials and translations. Her research interests include K-12 technology integration, online learning, and teachers' education and professional development.
Kathleen Mitchell Kathleen Mitchell
Second Languages and Cultures Program
Kathleen Mitchell is a Ph.D. student in the Second Languages and Cultures track of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Prior to moving to Minnesota, she taught in elementary immersion schools for several years. Her current interests include elementary Social Studies immersion curriculum development and enactment, explicit and implicit citizenship education in immersion schools, and teacher training.
Yuanjing Wilcox Yuanjing Wilcox
Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development
Yuanjing (“Elizabeth”) has worked on this project since 2010. She was born and raised in Xinxiang, China, and went to college in Xi'an, China, where she earned a B.A in International Economics. After teaching English to business students at a college in her hometown for 3 years, she moved to the United States to pursue her advanced degrees at the University of Minnesota. She has completed two master’s degrees in Evaluation Studies and Public Policy and a doctoral degree in Evaluation Studies. While studying at the University of Minnesota, she worked as a 1st grade Chinese immersion teacher for 3 years in Minnetonka Public Schools. Since then she has been working as a consultant using her three areas of expertise: curriculum and instruction, program evaluation, and cross-cultural and intercultural communications.


MMIC Curriculum Team

Xian He, Madison Elementary, St. Cloud
Ping Peng, Scenic Heights Elementary, Minnetonka
Donghong Wang, XinXing Academy, Hopkins
Ming Yan, Excelsior Elementary, Minnetonka

Support Personnel

Immersion Teacher Support

Jihong Dou, XinXing Academy, Hopkins
Xue Han, Scenic Heights Elementary, Minnetonka
Yan Li, Excelsior Elementary, Minnetonka
Yuan Lu, Madison Elementary, St. Cloud
Dilu Shi, XinXing Academy, Hopkins
Lixia Shi, Madison Elementary, St Cloud
Qingling Yang, Scenic Heights Elementary, Minnetonka
Ting Zou, Excelsior Elementary, Minnetonka

Project Consultants

Elementary Teacher Support

Karin McKenzie, Eisenhower Elementary, Hopkins

Mandarin Language Support

Hong Sang, freelance Chinese/English translator
Li Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
Yongling Zhang-Gorke, Assistant Director, Confucius Institute



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