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Forest Lake, Minn. school adds Mandarin immersion

May 1, 2011

Forest Lake charter school offers Chinese immersion

  • Updated: April 30, 2011 – 9:19 PM

A Forest Lake charter school will begin offering a Mandarin Chinese immersion program next year.

Lakes International Language Academy, also known as LILA, has traditionally offered only full Spanish immersion classes for its 600 students. But its founders kept the school name as a “language academy” for the opportunity to expand.

The Chinese program will be offered to kindergartners next school year, the board of directors decided recently.

The school has held Chinese New Year celebrations and hosted Chinese exchange students. It also held Chinese elective classes for students in first through third grades since opening.

Parents founded the Lakes International Language Academy in 2004 after school board members rejected a proposal to start an immersion program in the district.

In recent years, Lakes International has helped the Forest Lake Public School district start a Spanish immersion program of its own, and they have collaborated on teaching strategies. And the school has floated the idea of becoming a “site-based” school that would be funded by the Forest Lake Public Schools but be run by its parents and teachers.

In immersion programs, students are taught regular subjects, such as math and geography, in a language other than their native language.

Lakes International will host an information session, including a building tour, for interested families on Wednesday, May 11 from 9-10:30 a.m. For more information, visit or call 651-464-0771.

Article here.

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