Australia’s only Mandarin immersion program expanding
Coast immersion stands up to the test
Thomas Chamberlin | June 24th, 2010
Varsity Lakes College student Taylor Cassar learns in Mandarin Picture: DAVID CLARK
STUDENTS in the Chinese immersion program at Varsity College (in Queensland, Australia) are outperforming English-speaking classes in national literacy and numeracy tests.
The popularity of the school’s courses has prompted moves into a new $6 million teaching facility.
Varsity College has about 200 students from years 6 to 10 involved in the immersion and two floors of a five-storey building under construction will be dedicated to the teaching method.
The program started five years ago and is one of three state school immersion programs on the Gold Coast, along with French immersion at Benowa State High School and Japanese immersion at Robina State High School.
“We are the only Chinese immersion program we know of in Australia,” said executive principal Jeff Davis. “We’ve actually doubled the intake and there are people from all around the Gold Coast that want to become part of it.”
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