Skip to content

Mandarin immersion program in North Carolina accepting applications

March 17, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 1.57.33 PM

Children celebrating Chinese New Year at Glenwood Elementary School in February.

Ni Hao!  If you have a rising kindergartner or first grader for the 2016-17 school year in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City School System (CHCCS), you may want to consider applying to the district’s Mandarin-English dual language (MDL) program. The deadline for kindergarten applications is May 13, and the CHCCS will host an information meeting on Tuesday, March 22. You also will have an opportunity to visit the school that hosts the program and meet other MDL families during anOpen House on Thursday, April 21. (Details below.)

Please come and learn about our wonderful program!

Did you know . . .

The Chapel Hill Program Is a Pioneer in Mandarin Dual Language Education

When Chapel Hill opened its Mandarin dual language program in 2002, it was one of only 12 other such programs at elementary schools in the U.S. (and the first one in North Carolina).  It was well ahead of the so-called Mandarin immersion “boom” that began in 2007, which saw a steady growth of such programs around the country.  Currently, there are about 150 programs nationwide at the primary and secondary school level.  Eight of those are in North Carolina (including the one in Chapel Hill and the program that opened recently in Wake County).

The Chapel Hill program is still one of just a handful of programs in the country that provides a continuation of the Mandarin program at the middle- and high-school level (the only other programs are in California, Maryland and Oregon).


Our First Graduates Are Studying at Top Colleges and Universities

Last summer, students who began as the first kindergartners in the Chapel Hill Mandarin program back in 2002 graduated from high school.  They were accepted at some of the nation’s best colleges and universities, including Emory University, Massachusettes Institute of Technology, Stanford University, The University of Virginia, Washington University, Wellesley College, and (of course,) UNC and NC State University.

Compelling Reasons to Enroll Your Child in a Mandarin Dual Language Program:

  • Research shows that learning a second language benefits academic performance and promotes positive cross-cultural attitudes, mental flexibility and creativity.
  • China is the second largest economy in the world and one of America’s largest trading partners. Chinese is the number 1 language spoken in the world, and knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.
  • Chinese is the fastest growing world language being taught in U.S. schools, and President Barack Obama has set a goal for 1 million American schoolchildren to learn Chinese by 2020.


Who Is Eligible to Apply?

  • Children must be eligible to attend school in the CHCCS.
  • Kindergarten: All rising kindergartners may apply for the MDL program.  Selection is by lottery.
  • First grade: All rising first-graders may apply for the MDL program.  However, there is no lottery.  Spaces are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, as seats become available.
  • Second through fifth grades:  A placement test is required for students entering the program in grades two to five to ensure that they have adequate language skills to be successful in the program.  Places are granted based on availability.
  • Middle School and High School:  Graduates of the MDL program (or who otherwise demonstrate language proficiency) may continue Mandarin studies as one of their electives at Phillips Middle School and the district high schools.  Some schools in the district may offer beginning Mandarin for students who have not previously studied the language.

Courtesy of the parents and teachers of Glenwood Elementary School, Chapel Hill

Important Dates:

February 2016: Registration began and continues through mid-May. Application to the program is done through the normal registration process for new students at Lincoln Center (750 S. Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516), by selecting the box on the registration form that asks if you would like to place your child’s name in the lottery.  Students already registered in the CHCCS may submit a special application requesting enrollment in the dual language program.

March 22, 2016: Information session about the Mandarin program for interested parents at Carrboro Elementary School, 400 Shelton St, Carrboro, NC 27510, 6-7 p.m.

April 21, 2016: Open House for parents interested in learning more about the MDL Program and meeting MDL families at the host school, Glenwood Elementary School, 2 Prestwick Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, 6-7 p.m.

May 13, 2016: Deadline for entering the Kindergarten MDL lottery.  The lottery is held about one week later, and parents are notified of the results within 10 days after the lottery.

More information about the program and how to register:

CHCCS Dual Language Programs:

Registration Process for the CHCCS Dual Language Programs:

CHCCS Lincoln Center (general school registration):

Glenwood Elementary School Mandarin Dual Language Program:

Linda Trees is a parent of a kindergartner in the Mandarin Dual Language (MDL) Program at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill and serves on the school’s Mandarin Advisory Council.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: