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What happens in high school in your Mandarin immersion program?

April 8, 2018

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What happens to kids who start in Mandarin immersion in Kindergarten when they hit high school? And once they’re through, what happens in college?

There’s precious little data out there about what options our kids have in high school and what it means for them in college. There aren’t many programs that have gotten to high school yet and of those that have, not many have graduated multiple classes yet.

Sharon Huang, the founder of Hudson Way Immersion School in New York City and Summit, NJ, is putting together a workshop on the topic for the upcoming National Chinese Language Conference in Salt Lake City in May (and you should be fund-raising to send your teachers if your school isn’t able to pay their way!)

Sharon and I spoke and because there’s no national data available, I told her I’d put out a request to parents for at least some anecdotal information. So if you’ve got kids in high school who did Mandarin immersion (or if you know what your district or school had planned) some questions below. I’ll pass answers along to Sharon and will also write them up for the blog.

  • What school and school district are you in?
  • Does your program have a clear pathway from Kindergarten through 12th grade?
  • What happens in high school?
  • Do most students continue through high school or do they choose other schools if only one offers an immersion continuation?
  • Do students take the AP Chinese exam, and if so when? Are there more classes available for them after they take it?
  • What about the SAT Chinese Subject Matter test?
  • Bonus questions: What do students do in college? Do they continue with Mandarin? At what level do they test in? Do they go on to study Chinese in college? Do schools seem to care whether they’ve been in immersion or not?

High schools that I know of, from my list of Mandarin immersion programs:

K – 12

Pacific Rim International School, San Mateo, Calif.
Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, Hadley, Mass.
International School of Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind.
Camelot Academy of Arts Science and Technology, Orange, Calif.
International Charter School of Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga.

9 – 12

Queens High School for Language Studies, New York
Northern Hills High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.
El Capitan High School, Lakeside, Calif.
Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka, Minn.
High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, NYC
Cleveland High School, Portland, Ore.
Highland Park High School, St. Paul, Minn.
International High School, San Francisco
Lincoln High School, San Francisco
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria sawyer permalink
    April 9, 2018 2:49 am

    The Wake county school district has a program that will go from K-12. The high school is set to be Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC. The pilot class is only in 3rd grade so I have very little information on what middle and high school will look like. I just know it is funded.

  2. John Hilton III permalink
    April 11, 2018 9:57 pm

    There are six immersion programs in Utah that have already begun high school immersion (currently through 9th grade). Many more schools will follow next year. These two posts summarize what happens with high school immersion in Utah. and

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