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How do the teachers teach Mandarin? What are their qualifications? 

Our teachers develop close relationships with the children. They are warm, animated, and lively, which helps create an effective learning environment. Engaging the students in both academic and social growth, they emphasize the development of a caring community of learners. 

How much Mandarin is taught each day?

We are what’s called a 50/50 program. Two classes rotate each day between English and Mandarin classrooms. Each class spends exactly half of the day in the Mandarin classroom. Only Mandarin is spoken in the Mandarin classroom. The goal is to teach grade level content standards through both languages, so that by the time the students are in upper grades, they are proficient academically in both languages. 

How much Mandarin can I expect my child to learn in the kinder year?

Speaking and listening are emphasized more than word recognition initially. By the end of the year, most kindergarteners will learn to write 50 Mandarin characters.  Students will also learn the Common Core State Standards in Mandarin and English. 

What is the homework like? 

Although Mandarin Immersion students are generally assigned more homework than the General Education students, it is a reasonable amount of work. 

Is traditional or simplified Chinese used in the classrooms?

We teach traditional first and will introduce simplified later. The specific grade level has not yet been determined. The main curriculum will be in traditional characters, but students need to be able to recognize simplified characters.
We believe that students should be taught both – simplified, to communicate with the majority of the Chinese people in the world, and traditional, to be able to appreciate the beauty of the Chinese language in its written form and to understand the roots of the characters. 

How will the kids learn English?

The purpose of the immersion program is not only to teach Mandarin but to teach grade-level content in both English and Mandarin. Students will still take all the District-required assessments in English. English Language Arts is a required component of their instructional day.  

How can I help my child learn the language if I do not speak Mandarin?

Teachers will send home supporting materials when appropriate. Better Chinese is an instructional program that has an online component for home access. Parents can help their children with reviewing the content online. 

May I volunteer in the Mandarin classroom if I do not speak Mandarin?

Volunteers may not speak to the Chinese teacher in English in the presence of the children but it is possible to do quiet work for the teacher. Volunteers are invited to help in the classroom at the discretion of the teachers and by appointment only. Parents interested in volunteering on campus during school hours should visit the office to obtain the required forms.