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More on the potential Lake Forest, Ill. Mandarin program

February 2, 2011

Mandarin for kindergartners planned for Dist. 67

By Donald Liebenson Special to the Tribune Yesterday at 12:06 p.m.

Lake Forest School District 67 could become the latest among a small group of public schools in the country with a Mandarin immersion program starting in kindergarten.

If there’s enough interest from parents, an English-Mandarin program would be offered in one kindergarten class and one first-grade class beginning in the fall.

Incoming kindergarten and first-grade parents are invited to attend an meeting to hear about the program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, at the school district’s administrative offices at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest.

Two additional meetings providing further information will be offered at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 and at 10 a.m. Feb. 24, both at the administrative offices.

The program would offer instruction in English for half of the school day and the Mandarin for the other half, with plans to expand the program through the fourth grade.

The approach is modeled on those at two Michigan elementary schools that have had “quite the success with students being able to converse (in Mandarin) by the third grade,” said District 67 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Andy Henrikson.

Henrikson said both schools are being supported by Michigan State University, which he called one of the premier U.S. universities assisting school districts by bringing teachers in from China and developing curriculums.

more here.

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