Skip to content

What does the Year of the Rabbit look like in Casper, Wyoming?

May 24, 2023

Please see a lovely photo spread here from the Mandarin immersion program at Paradise Valley Elementary School in Casper, Wyoming.


Mandarin classes are a new battleground between China and Taiwan

May 15, 2023

The Los Angeles Times


In the relaxed cadences of her native Taiwan, Kelly Chuang instructed her students to repeat after her.

Wo bu shi taiwan ren. Wo shi meiguo ren” — “I’m not Taiwanese. I’m American.”

She projected the written Chinese for the phrases onto a whiteboard. “Taiwan” appeared in the traditional form, with 25 strokes in the second character alone.

The four adults were studying Mandarin, Taiwanese style — elaborately written characters over the simplified versions used in China, no “ers” appended to words, less of a curled tongue for “sh” sounds.

In a small way, as they struggled over the language’s four tones and learned how to make Taiwanese spring rolls last month in a classroom in San Marino, they were part of a high-stakes global chess game.

“It looks intense,” said Deseree Oaxaca, 25, as she stared at the characters for “Taiwan” on the board.

The class and others like it in the U.S. and Europe are backed by the Taiwanese government, which hopes to spread its version of Mandarin — along with its values of freedom and democracy — as China’s threats against Taiwan become increasingly bellicose.

Please read more here.

Silicon Valley International School – Mandarin immersion at a recently-combined school

May 5, 2023

Every once in a while a new school pops up on my radar and I think, wait, what? Wasn’t there another school in that same location? Then I check my list and realize there was. I’m grateful to the Silicon Valley International School for having such a nice history section on its website to make clear how this all came about. So often schools change names or merge and never explain what happened, making it very confusing to those of us trying to keep track.

This is especially important when there are multiple schools with similar names. Nearby there’s also the German International School of Silicon Valley that’s entirely separate. And Yew Chung International School-Silicon Valley. You see how a person could get confused.

There isn’t actually a new Mandarin immersion school south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley, but one of the ones that’s there has a new name.

Silicon Valley International School in Palo Alto, California is an amalgam of several schools. The Kindergarten through high school now offers Mandarin, French and German immersion.

It all dates back to 1979, when a French immersion school named the Peninsula French American School was founded in Palo Alto.

That school added a Mandarin program in 1996 and changed its name to the International School of the Pacific.

Fast forward to 2020 and the school rebranded itself as the Silicon Valley International School.

Meanwhile, back in 1993, the Deutsch-Amerikanische Schule San Francisco, a German immersion school, began talks with the International School of the Peninsula to discuss how both schools could benefit from a merger.

Lack of space made that impossible despite more discussions in 1998 and 2019. But then in 2020 “the COVID-19 pandemic compelled a more expedited merger.”

The schools officially merged in 2021.

This one school now offers three distinct language tracks, Mandarin, French and German, in addition to a bilingual International Baccalaureate World School.

And if this all sounds a little familiar, it could be because much the same thing happened up near Portland Oregon, when the German International School merged with a Mandarin school, creating a German-Mandarin immersion program.

Decade-old Michigan Mandarin immersion program to be phased out

April 29, 2023

District Superintendent says students in the program “underperform expectations both academically and behaviorally.”

The Daily News, Feb. 25, 2023

By Cory Smith

GREENVILLE — A second-language curriculum that has been utilized to teach students how to read and speak Mandarin for more than a decade at Greenville Public Schools is now scheduled to be phased out of the district, starting with the upcoming school year. 

Since 2012, Greenville has offered a Chinese immersion program, which begins for students at Walnut Hills Elementary School in kindergarten, teaching students to eventually become bilingual and biliterate in Mandarin. 

While the curriculum was originally launched as a six-year commitment allowing participating students to study and learn the language from kindergarten through fifth grade, it has since expanded into secondary education (middle school and high school) via a partnership with Western Michigan University. 

Chinese immersion students can continue with the program through high school, concluding upon graduating from Greenville High School while having earned up to 28 college credits at no cost to the student who will have earned a college minor in Mandarin.

However, on Feb. 15, Superintendent Wayne Roedel communicated, first in person with teachers at Walnut Hills and then by email with parents of students at the school, that the program was coming to an end.

“The Chinese immersion program has been a point of pride for the Greenville community since its inception in 2012. However, over time, it has become clear that the program must be reviewed as some students, especially in grades K through 5, underperform expectations both academically and behaviorally,” he wrote in his email. 

Please read more here.

How to showcase your district’s immersion program? Say the Pledge of Allegiance at a School Board meeting – in Mandarin

April 13, 2023

Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Lousiana

By William Taylor Potter

April 6, 2023

About a dozen students from Corporal Michael Middlebrook Elementary School wowed attendees at Wednesday’s Lafayette Parish School Board meeting when they recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why was their recitation so awe-inspiring? They did it in Mandarin Chinese.

The students were part of the Lafayette Parish School System’s Chinese immersion program, one of the three language immersion programs the district offers. The Chinese program is at Middlebrook Elementary, while other schools in the district host French and Spanish programs.

Click here to see the students at the meeting.

School board member Kate Labue said she and Superintendent Irma Trosclair have been working to find ways to showcase the work the immersion programs have been doing during the board meetings. They invited Middlebrook Principal Courtney Breaux to tell the board and attendees about how the program has benefited the students involved.

Please read more here.

A “Friday shout-out” from a Mandarin program in Hayward, California

April 4, 2023

Stonebrae’s Mandarin Dual Language Immersion Program


Mandarin Characters

The Stonebrae Mandarin Immersion Program started in 2007–2008 school year.  We offer a 50/50 instructional model from kindergarten through 6th grade.  Students spend half their day learning in English and the other half learning in Mandarin.  

Please see the video here:

West County Mandarin School school wins award for “innovative practice” during COVID

March 26, 2023

West County Mandarin School (WCMS) is a Mandarin immersion, International Baccalaureate (IB) school located in Pinole, California.  WCMS is the first Mandarin immersion public school in California to earn the acclaimed authorization as an IB school.  WCMS opened on August 21, 2017 with three kindergarten classes, and it will grow to K-6 by adding a new grade each year.  Additionally, a Mandarin/IB program will continue in middle school. WCMS will have grades K – 5 in the 2022/2023 school year.  

 The WCMS immersion model is one-way; students are not required to know any Mandarin prior to attending.  Even so, nearly a quarter of the students are intermediate to advanced speakers, and they enthusiastically help the novice students.

West County Mandarin School is the culmination of a collaboration between parents and community members and the West Contra Costa Unified School District.  It is the first Mandarin immersion school in the WCCUSD and the first whole school Mandarin immersion program in an East Bay Public School District.  Students from all over the District attend WCMS.  Our community is bonded by the desire to provide a quality, multilingual education that will prepare our students to become critical thinkers, leaders and problem solvers in our increasingly globally connected world.

See the kids giving testimonials about their school here.