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Parents Debating Mandarin in New York City

September 28, 2010
Note that this debate is not about immersion, but about a class or two a week in elementary school.  Clearly, kids in immersion actually learn to understand and speak Mandarin quickly (reading and writing, of course, take longer).  But interesting that Mandarin’s so popular these days that schools are adding an hour a week in elementary school.
From the Wall Street Journal’s New York section, read the full posting here.
Julie Platner for The Wall Street Journal
Sam Benenson, a second grader at NEST+m on the Lower East Side, colors a map to learn the pronunciation and geography of China’s biggest cities.

By Yuliya Chernova

The growth of Mandarin classes at elementary schools in and around New York City stirred debate at, a popular forum website for parents.

As The Journal reported, more schools around the city this year started offering — and in some cases requiring — Mandarin instruction, including New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math (known as NEST+m), PS 20 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and PS 310 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The rise of Mandarin stems, in part, from separate programs backed by the U.S. and Chinese governments that offer resources for the classes.

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