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Mandarin immersion program flourishes at L.A. school

December 30, 2011

Broadway Elementary in Venice launched the effort to boost enrollment. The plan worked so well the principal is concerned that dual-language learners will outnumber students in regular classes.

The English half of the dayFirst-grader Charlotte Woodruff (on class pajama day) shows her science project to her dual-language class as Rae Cullen, who teaches in English, looks on at Broadway Elementary School in Venice. The students spend half the day with Cullen and half with a teacher whose instruction is in Mandarin. (Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles Times /December 16, 2011)
By Matt Stevens, Los Angeles TimesDecember 29, 2011, 8:28 p.m.

Twenty-four first-graders scrambled from their seats and plopped onto a rainbow-colored rug in “Wong laoshi’s” classroom. In a minute, they would begin a lesson on food groups. But first a quick exercise on water.

“Zhengfa!” teacher Kennis Wong said, using the Mandarin word for “evaporation,” and the students jumped to their feet.

“Ningjie!” Wong said next, giving the word for “condensation.” And like a forming raindrop, students hugged in small groups.

“Jiangyu!” she said finally, and the raindrops splashed to the floor, giggling the whole way down.

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