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Illinois district cuts Mandarin, but immersion programs thrive nearby

May 25, 2018

Note that District 214 only offers regular language classes (i.e. an hour a day, teaching the language, not in the language) rather than immersion. In nearby Barrington, the immersion program has a waiting list.

District 214 schools move to end Mandarin language program, bucking national trend

May 25, 2018

John Hersey High School senior Olivia Marunde’s passion for Mandarin was sparked in fourth grade after a grant from the Chinese government brought a pilot language program to her elementary school in Arlington Heights.

Olivia continued her Mandarin studies through Thomas Middle School — a “fantastic experience” that was capped by an eighth grade trip to China, she recalled recently.

Four years of Mandarin at Hersey would follow, as Olivia, now 18, learned the language through a once robust program, which she and her classmates recently learned soon will be eliminated at two schools in Arlington Heights-based Township High School District 214.

The decision goes against a national trend, experts have said, and comes at a time when other Mandarin programs in suburbs like Barrington and Lincolnshire see steady interest from students.

District 214 officials have said the decision to cut the Mandarin program at both Hersey and Buffalo Grove high schools largely is because of declining enrollment, leaving students at both schools with fewer world language choices in the coming years.

Please read more here.

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