Plans to launch a Vietnamese dual language immersion program beginning in the fall of the 2017-2018 school year were highlighted at Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove Unified School District’s Board of Education. The program will be offered to all transitional kindergarten students at Murdy Elementary School, which has the highest percentage of native Vietnamese speakers.
During the board meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Sara Wescott introduced Michele Ho-Cao, a teacher at Allen Elementary School who has been selected as the teacher on special assignment to work full-time on the development of standards-aligned instructional materials for the program as well as Van Anh Vu, a teacher at Murdy Elementary School who has been selected as the classroom teacher providing instruction in Vietnamese for the program. Murdy Elementary School Principal Marcie Griffith was also introduced and expressed strong support for the new program.
The Vietnamese Language teacher will teach Vietnamese early literacy, including phonics, reading, and writing. GGUSD is working with Dr. Natalie Tran with the National Resource Center for Asian Languages, who has already developed literacy curriculum that will be used in the program, to develop additional Vietnamese curriculum and collaborate with the other districts in the country that offer Vietnamese dual immersion programs. Other community consultants, including Vietnamese organizations and current and retired teachers of Vietnamese will contribute to the project.
The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove and portions of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.