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Seattle’s Mandarin immersion programs

October 12, 2015

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From our friends at the Asian Society.

Seattle Mandarin Immersion Programs include programs at Beacon Hill International School, Dearborn Park International School, Mercer International Middle School Seattle, Washington. These programs are serving students in grades K-7 (and expanding),

In 1995, a visionary leader, General John Stanford, took the helm of Seattle Public Schools. As he became familiar with the diversity and multicultural “challenges” in the district, he viewed them as assets and envisioned a school where all students would learn languages and discover how to work together and understand the world. He asked Karen Kodama to be the principal of this yet-to-be-invented “international” school. Karen organized a group of parents and educators to work with local businesses, large and small—the future employers of Seattle Public Schools graduates—to understand the knowledge and skills needed to serve the local and global market. They identified the need to create pipelines of international K-12 schools and develop students with strong language skills beyond English.

Seattle opened its first language immersion program in Spanish in 2000, at John Stanford International School. The next year, Japanese was added as a second language option in the school. The business community had also identified Mandarin as a future high-need language to be developed, and the district added that to the plan for future expansion.

Read more here.

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