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Charleston, SC Mandarin immersion charter school faces closure 1 month after opening

September 22, 2018

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From: The Post and Courier

By Paul Bowers

Low enrollment, financial woes and staffing problems could spell the end for East Light Academy, a Mandarin-language charter school that opened in the Charleston area just one month ago.

Small headcounts can lead to financial disaster for charter schools, which receive funding from the state on a per-pupil basis. The school’s leaders proposed a charter school with 381 students, budgeted assuming an enrollment of about 180, and told The Post and Courier enrollment was at 150 on opening day, Aug. 20.

In reality, only about 50 students showed up on that first day of school, according to an email that went out to parents last week.

Please read more here.


First private Mandarin immersion school opens in Bellevue, Washington

September 17, 2018


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It is the first dual-language immersion Friends School in the nation, joining a national network of private schools committed to the social, moral, intellectual and emotional development of each member of its community.

The schools will begin with a preschool and Kindergarten and add grades each year.

It’s located on five acres of stunning campus just a few blocks from the 405 and the 520 in Bellevue, Washington.

More information here:

San Diego’s only Mandarin immersion school gets a better name

September 16, 2018

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[Note: The sentence below is the only thing about the school in this article, but it’s interesting that the name has been changed. The school’s website is here.

From the San Diego News

Published – 08/24/18

Barnard has a new name, and continues to be the only TK-5 Chinese Mandarin Immersion Program in the district.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Mission Bay Cluster schools ready for opening day

First Charleston SC Mandarin immersion school opens

September 12, 2018

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This fall at East Light Academy, a Mandarin language immersion school, teachers in pre-kindergarten through first grade will speak only Mandarin to their students for most of the day.

“It’s like dropping somebody in the water, and they have to do something to survive,” said Principal Przemyslaw Murczkiewicz.

While Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language on earth, Mandarin language programs are a rarity in South Carolina: East Light Academy is the first public school of its kind in the Charleston area. The school opened Monday serving about 150 students in a converted medical supply warehouse off Clements Ferry Road in Berkeley County.

Please read more here.

Dispatch from Hong Kong: Mandarin immersion in the U.S.

September 9, 2018

The American grass-roots school movement immersing children in Mandarin

School districts, parents, and administrators are driving the growth in programmes that teach US primary school pupils to read, write and exercise in another language despite broader anti-China sentiment


From: The South China Morning Post

By Simone McCarthy
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 11:03pm



Jiahang Li was not prepared for what awaited him at an American kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2012.

The Peking University graduate was doing a doctorate in education at the University of Maryland and visiting the public school to see the state’s pioneering Chinese-English dual language immersion programme in action.

Li was surprised when then the children greeted him in perfectly accented Mandarin.

“It was a totally eye-opening experience to see these five and six-year-olds have a conversation with an adult in a different language that is so different from their native one,” said Li, who is now director of the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University.

Li was witnessing the results of a grass-roots trend in American primary education: language immersion programmes in which children spend at least half of each school day taking their regular classes, like maths, science or physical education, entirely in Mandarin.

Please read more here.

Lots of students, growth, but not enough teachers: A comprehensive look at dual language immersion in the San Gabriel Valley

September 5, 2018
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For some kindergartners starting school this year in the San Gabriel Valley, their first teachers are just as likely to greet them with “hola” or “ni hao” as “hello.”

These are the experiences thousands of students encounter as they start their journey in a dual language immersion program — experiences that will put them on a path to fluently speak, write and read two or more languages.

The number of these programs are at an all-time high, said Ruth Baskett, a project director for the Multilingual Academic Support Unit at the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

“The demand for these programs is everywhere: across the county, across the state, across the nation,” she said. “Parents are asking for these programs for their communities, and school districts are clearly responding. Bilingual education is very much a priority.

“That is not changing any time soon.”

In San Gabriel Valley, a region known for its diverse demographics and immigrant communities, the demand may even be higher. It’s home to 20 school districts that offer dual language immersion programs, including two new ones. Both Rowland Unified and Garvey School District are coming off two years of planning and just launched programs for the 2018-2019 school year.

Please read more here.

Some more on those impenetrable immersion schools in New York City

September 1, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.00.05 AMMy pleas for information about Mandarin immersion schools in New York have been answered by some helpful parents — thanks all.

It’s helpful because finding information about Mandarin immersion schools in New York City isn’t easy. School web sites don’t offer up much and even schools where I’ve talked to parents and know there’s a program don’t mention that they have an immersion on their website. How do people find them? is my question.

That said, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is the largest school district in the United States, serving 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools, so I suppose it’s got bigger fish to fry.

The district has dozens of Dual Language programs in multiple languages, including Spanish, Mandarin Vietnamese, Russian and Urdu, among others. These programs  are composed of half native speakers of the target language and half English speakers, and are immersion.

There are also Transitional  Bilingual Education, which transition speakers of another language to English, as well as English as a New Language. Neither of these are immersion

New as of 2017:

PS/IS 102Q Bayview in Elmhurst, Queens, NYC, which began its  inaugural Kindergarten class in September of 2017.

May have begun 2018-2019 (I say “may” have begun because although although the new Superintendent announced these earlier this year, there’s nothing on any of the website that indicate that they actually teach Chinese, much less teach in Chinese. If you have any information about them, please contact me so I can update the listings.)

Here’s a recent article. And one from January.


  • The Riverside School for Makers & Artists—Chinese DL


  • P.S. 896—Spanish and Chinese DL
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School—Chinese DL [Not sure if this is a continuation of other programs — more info would be helpful.]


  • P.S. 7 Louis F. Simeone—Chinese and Bengali DL
  • P.S. 13 Clement C. Moore—Chinese DL