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Mandarin immersion program popular in Louisiana

April 4, 2012

Immersion program gets an A

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK<br />Students in Boucher Elementary School's Chinese immersion program, Dwayne Issac, center, and Cameron Charles try out their language skills and purchase cookies from Xing Zhoug Wang Friday morning at the Asian Market in Lafayette.

Kindergartners busy learning Chinese

BY MARSHA SILLS

Acadiana bureau

April 03, 2012

“All research shows that especially in a school environment it takes a minimum of eight years to learn a foreign language to the point that you won’t forget it.” Nicole boudreaux, lead immersion teacher

LAFAYETTE — Jade Carter already speaks French at home with her family.

Now, the kindergartner is helping her family learn Chinese — Jade is one of nine kindergarten students enrolled in the Mandarin Chinese immersion program at Alice Boucher Elementary’s World Languages Academy.

“We were excited when we learned about the program,” said the five-year-old’s mother, Sybil Carter, who teaches French at Southern University.

The family attends community Chinese language classes offered on Saturdays, and Carter’s son is in the Lafayette School District’s French immersion program.

“We want them to be ‘polylingual,’” she said of her and her husband’s choice to enroll their children in foreign language immersion programs. “This is something we couldn’t find anywhere else.”

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