Mandarin Chinese is a famously difficult language for native English speakers to learn as adults. As with any language, experts say it’s best if you start young.

In small pockets across South Carolina, some public school students are getting just such an opportunity. A handful of public elementary schools offer Mandarin language programs starting as early as preschool, and a pair of new Mandarin immersion charter schools serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade recently earned approval to open in the Charleston and Greenville areas in 2018.

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