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San Francisco’s first Mandarin immersion class graduates

April 17, 2012

Mandarin masters: Starr King’s 1st class grows up

Jill Tucker

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brant Ward / The Chronicle

Jack Gaughan is among the first students to have enrolled in the Mandarin immersion program at Starr King Elementary in San Francisco. Of the original 23 students, 16 remain with nine joining later.

In the fall of 2006, 23 kindergartners walked into their classroom for the first time at Starr King Elementary in San Francisco where their teacher only spoke Mandarin, a language most of the children had never seen nor heard.

They were the first batch of students to enroll in the district’s new Mandarin immersion program, one of only a handful across the country offering immersion in this particular language.

It was a leap of faith for parents. The program, one of a handful of Mandarin programs in the country, lacked materials and teachers, and nationwide there wasn’t a lot of professional experience in teaching one of the most difficult languages to learn.

Fast-forward nearly six years.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/16/BAM91O1A1S.DTL#ixzz1sJjOtluS

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