HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.
OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR JONES COUNTY.
LET'S GO RIGHT TO BEN JONES FOR THE LATEST.... BEN?
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A
.. SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
JONES COUNTY IN CENTRAL GEORGIA
.. UNTIL 630 PM EDT
.. AT 544 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZED HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS UP TO 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 6 MILES
NORTHEAST OF GRAY...MOVING SOUTHWEST AT 10 MPH.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.
THIS SUMMER...BIBB COUNTY STUDENTS AS YOUNG AS PRE-KINDERGARTEN WILL START LEARNING MANDARIN CHINESE.
THE 'MACON MIRACLE' STRATEGIC PLAN WILL PHASE IN MANDARIN INSTRUCTION THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL BY 2016.
CANDACE ADORKA VISITED A COUPLE OF SCHOOLS IN NORTH GEORGIA AND ATLANTA... TO SEE HOW THEY TEACH THEIR STUDENTS THE LANGUAGE.
***Tres monitos.... ***
MUCH OF THE DAY IN THE PRE-K CLASS AT THE WORLD LANGUAGE ACADEMY LOOKS LIKE THIS....
CHILDREN LEARNING THE BASICS IN SPANISH.
BUT FOR TWO HALF HOUR SESSIONS... THEY MAKE A SWITCH....
JUST LIKE THAT... TO MANDARIN CHINESE.
"we want to prepare them for the global market. And we feel that mandarin is a very good language to add to their toolbox."
CARRIE WOODCOCK IS THE DUAL LANGUAGE COORDINATOR AT THE HALL COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHERE EVERY STUDENT TAKES MANDARIN AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.
"At three other elementary schools we have the other visiting chinese teachers and they teach kindergarten through fifth grade."
SEVERAL OTHER HALL COUNTY MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS OFFER MANDARIN, BUT THOSE CLASSES... ***answer my questions in Chinese, ok?*** AND THE REST HERE AT WORLD LANGUAGE ACADEMY... ARE TAUGHT AS TRADITIONAL FORIEGN LANGUAGE CLASSES.
***Yao mai... ***
THE PRE-K CLASS AT W-L-A IS THE ONLY ONE WHERE MANDARIN IS TAUGHT THROUGH IMMERSION.
"The conversation is fully in the target language. She's not allowed to stop and go oh this means pencil. That's foreign language instruction. Foreign language instruction would be 'la pice' 'pencil'.
***stand up command in Mandarin***
"this is just full-on conversation, as if you were dunked into another population."
IN ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS... FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS MUST CONDUCT AT LEAST 90 PERCENT OF THE CLASS IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE... LIKE MISS YANG'S FIRST GRADE CLASS AT TOOMER ELEMENTARY.
***oou, oou, u!***
ANITA LAWRENCE, WORLD LANGUAGES COORDINATOR AT ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS... SAYS EVEN BASIC CLASSROOM DIRECTIONS... LIKE REPEAT AFTER ME... MUST BE IN MANDARIN.
"In the begining, of course students are resistant. They don't know what that means or they want you to translate everything, but the more teachers do it, the more students are receptive and start to adjust."
TOOMER IS THE ONLY ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOL WHERE MANDARIN IS REQUIRED. AT FOUR OTHER SCHOOLS...IT'S OPTIONAL.
LAWRENCE SAYS 50 PERCENT OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS OPT IN.
"They like the fact that it's something that is not common in the community. They've heard of their peers learning french and spanish but chinese is something that's kind of a rarity."
SHE SAYS STUDENTS IN MANDARIN CLASSES SEEM TO BE MORE ENGAGED...AND ABSORB MORE DURING CLASS TIME.
"just the level of participation is much higher in Chinese and I think it's because of the interest. They're interested in doing something different."
LAWRENCE SAYS THE HARDER STUDENTS WORK TO DECIPHER MANDARIN... OR ANY OTHER LANGUAGE... THE MORE INFORMATION THEY ARE ABLE TO RETAIN.
"Because Mandarin is what's considered a fourth level language, that means it's not very closely related to English, t is even harder, so having to learn and translate that information is promoting higer level thinking."
***nats wide shot at WLA pre-k***
LIN LIN... THE PRE-K MANDARIN TEACHER AT THE WORLD LANGUAGE ACADEMY... SAYS TEACHERS HAVE WAYS OF OVERCOMING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER.
"Mostly I combine the language with body language. Like when I teach them, say apple, I do this, and then they are so cute. Now even when they say I wanna buy apple, they'll say... like this."
BUT HER SECRET WEAPON? MUSIC.
"they grab it really fast. They grab it faster than I imagined. And through the music they pick up some words and some instruction like stand up, sit down..."
WOODCOCK SAYS BY THE END OF FIFTH GRADE... A WORLD LANGUAGE ACADEMY STUDENT WOULD BE QUITE PROFICIENT IN MANDARIN, BUT NOT FLUENT.
"A student learns to be fluent in English 4-7 years, to get that academic proficiency, likewise, Spanish is very similar to that. Mandarin they typically would say it might take as many as 10 years."
SHE SAYS STUDENTS MAY GET QUIZZES OR VERBAL ASSESSMENTS... BUT GRADING MANDARIN IS A LOT MORE RELAXED THAN SPANISH BECAUSE STUDENTS SPEND MORE TIME LEARNING SPANISH.
"The overarching feel here is we want our students to be multicultural, to understand about other cultures and also understand about their own."
SO EVEN IF STUDENTS COME AWAY ONLY WITH THE BASICS... WOODCOCK SAYS THEY GAIN A BROADER UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD... WHICH OPENS DOORS IN THE FUTURE.
ACROSS THE STATE... ABOUT 27-HUNDRED PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE LEARNING MANDARIN.
THAT NUMBER COULD BALLOON TO MORE THAN 10-THOUSAND IN AUGUST... WHEN BIBB COUNTY ROLLS OUT IT'S PROGRAM IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT JANE DRENNAN SAYS...
"IT IS BEING PLANNED FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS UP TO POSSIBLY GRADE FIVE IN A FEW SCHOOLS, BUT MOST LIKELY MOST SCHOOLS WILL ONLY RECEIVE INSTRUCTION THROUGH GRADES ONE OR TWO."
SHE SAID THAT WILL DEPEND ON STAFFING AND SCHEDULING AT EACH SCHOOL.
BUT SO FAR THEY'VE DECIDED THAT CLASSES WILL BE 30 MINUTES LONG, TAUGHT AS TRADITIONAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES AND NOT THROUGH IMMERSION.
THE DISTRICT WILL GET ABOUT 25 TEACHERS FROM CHINA... BUT EACH ONE WILL HAVE AN AMERICAN CO-TEACHER.
THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE AT KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY WILL BE PROVIDING THE 25 MANDARIN INSTRUCTORS.
CANDACE ADORKA SAT DOWN WITH THE DIRECTOR TO FIND OUT MORE.
THERE ARE 358 CONFUCIUS INSTITUTES WORLD-WIDE... AND THREE IN GEORGIA.
KEN JIN... DIRECTOR OF THE ONE AT KENNESAW... SAYS THE UNIVERSITY APPLIED TO A CHINESE GOVERNMENT AGENCY CALLED HANBAN TO RECEIVE THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE DESIGNATION.
SOME BIBB COUNTY PARENTS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THAT TIE TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT... BUT JIN SAYS HANBAN ONLY WORKS TO IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CHINA AND OTHER COUNTRIES THROUGH CULTURAL EXCHANGE.
"I respect other people's opinion but we kind of overreact to China because it's getting stringer and stronger in the world economy and politics. So once you know more about the poeple and the culture of the country, you have a better understanding of what's going on and you have less concern about the threat."
JIN SAYS THEIR TEACHERS ARE BACHELOR'S DEGREE HOLDERS OR GRADUATE STUDENTS AT YANGZHO UNIVERSITY IN COASTAL CHINA.
THEY HAVE TO TAKE A SERIES OF TESTS FROM HANBAN AND MEET BENCHMARKS IN MANDARIN AND ENGLISH.
HE SAYS THE TEACHERS COMING TO BIBB COUNTY WERE PULLED FROM A POOL OF 120.
"these 25 teachers, I took a look at their credentials and they're young and they're very talented. Actually I'm very happy for Bibb county because seom of the teachers they have background in art and music education, so we have pianoists and singers and dancers..."
JIN SAYS HANBAN WILL PAY THE TEACHERS' INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND PAY THEM A THOUSAND-DOLLAR STIPEND EACH MONTH.
BIBB COUNTY WILL PAY THE TEACHERS 16-THOUSAND-500 DOLLARS A YEAR.
DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT JANE DRENNAN SAYS "the teachers are paid a salary that is considerably less than a starting teacher's salary. From this salary they will pay their own living expenses such as rent, food, transportation, etc."
RIGHT NOW THE TEACHERS ARE IN AN INTENSIVE 2-AND-A-HALF MONTH TRAINING PROGRAM... LEARNING STRATEGIES FOR THE AMERICAN CLASSROOM.
JIN SAYS THEY'LL GET TWO MORE WEEKS OF TRAINING WHEN THEY GET TO THE STATES.
"Definitely there a challenge. Because they are educated from a different education system. The students in China, they do not challenge teachers, but here in our schools, the student has... I'm not saying challnging but our students tend to be more creative and innovative so the classroom setting is totally different. The educational philosophy is totally different so they need some time to get used to hwo we teach our younger generations."
JIN SAYS SINCE 2009 THEY'VE HAD 24 VISITING TEACHERS... AND THEY HAVN'T HAD ANY ISSUES.
DRENNAN SAYS THE DISTRICT IS MEETING WITH PRINCIPALS THIS WEEK THROUGH JULY FIRST TO REWORK THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCHEDULE AND CARVE OUT CLASS TIME FOR MANDARIN.
A WARNER ROBINS MAN WHOSE TWO-YEAR OLD SON STARVED TO DEATH... WAS FOUND GUILTY OF INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AND TWO COUNTS OF RECKLESS CONDUCT.
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE KATHERINE LUMSDEN SENTENCED WILLIAM DAVIS THE THIRD TO TEN YEARS IN JAIL.... WITH CREDIT FOR TIME ALREADY SERVED.
HE HAD FACED MURDER AND CHILD CRUELTY CHARGES.
RYAN ENGLISH OF THE HOUSTON COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE SAYS DAVIS HADN'T SEEN HIS TWO-YEAR-OLD SON FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS BECAUSE OF LONG HOURS AT WORK.
MEDICS SAID THE TWO YEAR OLD WEIGHED 12 POUNDS SIX OUNCES.
SADE SHAMON KING...THE CHILD'S MOTHER AND DAVIS'S GIRLFRIEND...IS SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE...WITH POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.
NEXT YEAR'S BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BUDGET FACES AN 11-MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A PRESENTATION TO THE SCHOOL BOARD THIS AFTERNOON.
IN MARCH... SCHOOL OFFICIALS PREDICTED A NINE MILLION DOLLAR GAP.
TODAY... THEY SAY IT'S GROWING.
SCHOOL BUDGET OFFICIALS SAY THEY'LL MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE BOARD ABOUT HOW TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE ON JUNE 12TH.
THAT'S AFTER THEY GET AN UPDATE ON HOW MUCH STATE AND LOCAL REVENUE THE DISTRICT EXPECTS.
A SOUTH BIBB COUNTY MAN IS IN JAIL AFTER OFFICERS FOUND DOZENS OF MARIJUANA PLANTS... WEAPONS... AND EXPLOSIVE DEVICES ON HIS PROPERTY.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A NEWS RELEASE FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
IT SAYS OFFICERS FOUND 56 PLANTS... AND EQUIPMENT USED TO GROW THEM ... WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 48-YEAR-OLD PETER VINCENT POOLE'S HOME ON SARDIS CHURCH ROAD.
THE RELEASE SAYS THEY SEIZED MASON JARS FULL OF MARIJUANA AND MORE THAN 30 HANDGUNS AND OTHER WEAPONS.
OFFICERS ALSO FOUND NINE SMALL HOMEMADE EXPLOSIVE DEVICES.
Chief Deputy David Davis, Bibb County: if any of these devices, even though they were small and in a closed in place, especially with officers around if any of them had ignited it could have caused some injuries.
POOLE FACES MORE THAN A DOZEN CHARGES.
HE'S BEING HELD WITHOUT BOND IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL.
THESE DAYS... MANY YOUNG PEOPLE CAN STAY ON THEIR PARENTS INSURANCE UNTIL THEY'RE 26... BUT NOT ALWAYS.
AND FINANCIAL EXPERT SHERRI GOSS SAYS IF YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE... YOU'RE NOT COVERED FOR ALL THE POSSIBILITIES.
"They don't think anything bad can happen, adn when you've seen a couple of bad things happen, you know it doesn't matter who you are, it can happen to anybody."
TONIGHT AT 11... SHE AND FRANK MALLOY WILL CONTINUE OUR SERIES ON FINANCIAL LITERACY WITH A LOOK AT HOW TO DECIDE WHAT YOU NEED IN A HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY... AND THE RISKS YOU RUN IF YOU DON'T HAVE ONE.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.