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Southern California’s Ontario-Montclair district adding Mandarin immersion this year

September 13, 2019
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Mandarin immersion instructor Mengdian (Mandy) Zheng points out a welcome to Chinese class wallhanging she designed for her Montera Elementary kindergarten classroom in Montclair, Calif. on Thursday March 14, 2019. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Ontario-Montclair School District says 你好 to Mandarin immersion classes

Classes will be offered for kindergarteners at Montera Elementary School next year

With China now one of the world’s biggest economies, the Ontario-Montclair School District is making moves to prepare its students for a future that anticipates the country’s continued influence across the globe.

“There’s probably going to be three languages that are going to be predominant in the next 20 years, which will be Spanish, English and Mandarin. That’s what it looks like,” said Veronica Bucheli, a director with the district. “How do we give our kids an edge? One way of doing that is to teach them another language.”

This isn’t the district’s first dual-language immersion program: Spanish has been offered at the district’s Central Language Academy since 2007. After Spanish and Mandarin, Arabic might be next; it’s already being taught in an after-school club in one of the district’s middle schools.

“If I had a child that was going into kinder, I would put them into this class,” Montera elementary Principal Rudy Sandoval said. “You talk about an advantage going into the future, that’s an advantage.”

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