Skip to content

San Diego Mandarin immersion program gets new principal

March 13, 2023

SCHOOL NEWS – New principal takes over at Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School


by San Diego NEWS staff

 September 29, 2022

Kinglsey Chao moved from New York to San Diego in August to become the principal of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. Chao said he and his older brother are “first generation Chinese Americans.” His mother is originally from Shanghai and his father is from Beijing, China.

Chao grew up and attended New York and Long Island public schools. He credits key teachers from his elementary, middle, and high school years for his interest and passion in music, the arts, and performance. “Through 15 years-plus of piano lessons, and countless visits to Broadway stages, music has shaped my perspective on life and fueled my creativity,” he said.

Chao graduated with a bachelor of arts in music from Stony Brook University. “I always knew I wanted to become an educator and inspire students the way my teachers did in me,” he said. After graduating from Hunter College on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with a master’s of science in childhood education, he began his teaching career.

Please read. more here.


Redwood City, CA students win at Chinese Bridge Competition

March 6, 2023

Students at Orion Alternative School (formerly John Gill Elementary) in Redwood City, California took home prizes in this year’s Chinese Bridge Competition. The speech, poetry reading and talent competition is sponsored by the Chinese Consulate of San Francisco and took place in June.

You can see some of the award-winning performances here.

Dual-immersion programs show promise in fighting enrollment declines

February 24, 2023

As school district fight post-COVID student losses, dual language immersion programs can be a powerful force to attract families, even from other districts. According to the article below:

From the very beginning, the program began to attract students from outside the district. This year, 39 students from outside the district are enrolled in the Vietnamese dual-immersion program, making up about 1 in 12 students in the school.

From the very beginning, the program began to attract students from outside the district. This year, 39 students from outside the district are enrolled in the Vietnamese dual-immersion program, making up about 1 in 12 students in the school.

In Glendale Unified, in Los Angeles County, nine of the district’s 20 elementary schools offer dual-immersion programs, and 25% of the students enrolled in those programs live outside the district. 

From: EdSource, August 29, 2022 By Zaidee Stavely

When 6-year-old Mia Truong started reading and writing in Vietnamese in addition to English, her parents knew they had made the right decision for kindergarten.

Mia’s family lives in San Jose, within the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District. But her parents decided to send her to a different school district, Franklin-McKinley, so that she could attend a Vietnamese dual-immersion program.

“I’ve done my research. Especially us being Vietnamese parents, I wanted my daughter to learn Vietnamese,” said Mia’s father, Chuong Truong. “My daughter will have knowledge of two languages for the future. Just the creativity in her mind to think in both languages, it enhances her ability if she takes a trip to Vietnam and sees her second cousins, but also in English.”

Please read more here.

Evangelical Christian Mandarin immersion schools opens in South Carolina

February 14, 2023

The Music, Math Multilingual Christian Academy opened in Greenville, South Carolina this year, offering Mandarin immersion for Kindergarten through 5th grade.

The school’s website says “We equip students to become competent global leaders who strive for academic excellence, moral character, community involvement, and love for Christ.”

This makes it only the second Christian, Bible-based Mandarin immersion program in the United States, that I’m aware of. The first was Zeeland Christian School in Holland, Michigan, which launched its program in 2012. That program continues at Holland Christian High School.

The South Carolina school began as Charis Learning Center in 2019 and was revamped as a Christian Mandarin immersion school in 2022.

There are also three Mandarin Immersion Catholic schools in the country; St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Flushing, New York, All Souls Catholic School in Los Angeles and the Maryknoll School in Honolulu.

The only Mandarin immersion program in Kansas may close – partly because teachers are so hard to find

February 3, 2023

Located in a suburb of Kansas City, the Blue Valley Schools’ inaugural language immersion program began in the 2017-18 school year at Wolf Springs Elementary. A second Chinese Immersion site, Valley Park Elementary, welcomed its inaugural class during the 2018-19 school year. The district has said there was strong community interest in Chinese, it’s a critical language and offers students a global focus.

Blue Valley parents concerned for Chinese immersion program
by: Kevin Barry

From Fox 4

Feb. 1, 2023

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Parents in the Blue Valley School District Chinese immersion program are looking for answers after hearing the program their students are in is getting evaluated.

On January 19, the district sent families a letter saying that the Chinese immersion program would be evaluated based on:

  • Ability to provide Mandarin instruction in a sustainable way
  • Ability to attract, retain and support high-quality Chinese Immersion program teachers, both Chinese and English-speaking teachers within the program
  • Ability to sustain a pathway for current immersion students to achieve success on the AP Chinese Language test in high school

Please see more here.

Is Mandarin Immersion Worth it? The first five years for one family

January 31, 2023

A nice essay about one northern California family’s first five years in Mandarin immersion. Thanks to Devra for allowing me to repost her essay.

When we enrolled our daughter in a Mandarin immersion charter school five years ago, no one in our family could speak a word of Chinese. We have no family connections or ancestral roots in China; and in fact, we’d never even been to China, or anywhere else in Asia, for that matter.

You might wonder, then, why we chose to send our daughter to a Mandarin immersion school—and what our experience has been like, now that we’re five years in.

Why Mandarin Immersion?

Our family’s reasons for choosing Mandarin immersion aren’t particularly unique. There are more than one billion Mandarin speakers in the world today. China is one of the world’s largest economies, and it’s reasonable to think that Mandarin speakers might have an advantage in the workplace. In addition, China is increasingly influential in terms of global politics and environmental impacts, and a deep cultural knowledge seems important in terms of building connections and finding solutions.

Please read more here.

Happy Year of the Rabbit

January 22, 2023

新年快乐! 春节快乐!

Happy year of the Rabbit. Lunar New Year is a time to visit family, eat special foods, make dumplings, hand out red envelopes or see a special program at your Mandarin immersion school.

Here in San Francisco, where 33% of students are Asian, it’s also an official school holiday

The glory of Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) is that it lasts for another eight days, so you’re not behind at all. Lots more days to have some delicious food while you visit with family and friends.

You can read about the traditions and activities that come with the Spring Festival here.

2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit. People born in this year are said to be sensitive, intuitive and thoughtful.

For most of China, New Year wouldn’t be New Year without watching the star-studded New Year Variety Special that aired Saturday night. It’s the special’s 40th year and the four-hour gala is the most-watched television show in the world.

It’s available on YouTube here, broken into several sections.

Happy New Year to you all.