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See what our amazing friends in Edmonton in Canada are up to with their huge (and hugely successful) Mandarin immersion program

May 29, 2017

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Most folks in the U.S. don’t know that Edmonton, Alberta on the great Canadian prairie, has an enormous immersion program. The school district offers French, Mandarin, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

For Mandarin, the program is offered at six elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools.

Not only that, but they have what is the world’s largest and well-organized parent support organization, the Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association.  I would urge any parent community in the U.S. to take a look at their organization and see what a really strong and organized parent group can do.

Canada turns 150 this year (Happy Birthday!) and as part of the celebrations ECBEA has entered a video contest about great things happening there. Watch their video (and vote for them, of course).

A side note: I’ve been saying for years that the Chinese American International School in San Francisco, founded in 1986, was the world’s oldest Mandarin immersion program. I had not realized that Edmonton’s first school started in 1982. That honor appears to belong to Canada.


From the ECBEA

ECBEA has entered the Canada 150 in 150 contest to share the story of our successful Chinese Bilingual program with all of Alberta, Canada and the world.
Please click on the following link to see our video and vote for our story.

Who would have believed an upstart language learning experience in a prairie city would become the “best Chinese language program outside of China.” Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Edmonton’s Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual Program offered in 13 Edmonton public schools boasts 2000 students learning Chinese language, history and culture. With the dynamic support of the Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association, the program is trending toward record enrollments. Chinese language acquisition is a fun, challenging, stimulating and fulfilling educational experience. See our students in action who share what they’ve learned with our diverse inter-generational community at public events. Earning an international reputation, the Chinese Bilingual Program is an unparalleled investment in our youthful human capital that enriches our understanding through education.

To see more please click here.

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