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Orange Co. Mandarin immersion reaches middle school

October 18, 2017

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Mandarin language immersion debuts at Mission Viejo middle school


At first glance, this sixth-grade classroom at Newhart Middle School looks normal with its clustered desks, hand-drawn posters and teacher standing at the front of the classroom.

A closer look and listen, however, reveals something entirely different.

Newhart has become the first middle school in the Capistrano Unified School District to offer a Mandarin immersion program, in which students take two courses — one on the Mandarin language, another on social studies — taught entirely in the foreign language.

The 30-student program kicked off at Newhart in August with students who took years of Mandarin immersion at Marian Bergeson Elementary School in Laguna Niguel.

Inside the classroom, students converse, ask questions and respond to teacher Letitia Endow in Mandarin.

“I want Chinese to come to them like second nature,” Endow said.

The Mission Viejo instructor taught Mandarin as a foreign language for six years before coming to Newhart and teaching immersion for the first time.

Please read more here.

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