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San Diego’s only Mandarin immersion school gets a better name

September 16, 2018

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[Note: The sentence below is the only thing about the school in this article, but it’s interesting that the name has been changed. The school’s website is here.

From the San Diego News

Published – 08/24/18

Barnard has a new name, and continues to be the only TK-5 Chinese Mandarin Immersion Program in the district.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Mission Bay Cluster schools ready for opening day


First Charleston SC Mandarin immersion school opens

September 12, 2018

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This fall at East Light Academy, a Mandarin language immersion school, teachers in pre-kindergarten through first grade will speak only Mandarin to their students for most of the day.

“It’s like dropping somebody in the water, and they have to do something to survive,” said Principal Przemyslaw Murczkiewicz.

While Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language on earth, Mandarin language programs are a rarity in South Carolina: East Light Academy is the first public school of its kind in the Charleston area. The school opened Monday serving about 150 students in a converted medical supply warehouse off Clements Ferry Road in Berkeley County.

Please read more here.

Dispatch from Hong Kong: Mandarin immersion in the U.S.

September 9, 2018

The American grass-roots school movement immersing children in Mandarin

School districts, parents, and administrators are driving the growth in programmes that teach US primary school pupils to read, write and exercise in another language despite broader anti-China sentiment


From: The South China Morning Post

By Simone McCarthy
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 11:03pm



Jiahang Li was not prepared for what awaited him at an American kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2012.

The Peking University graduate was doing a doctorate in education at the University of Maryland and visiting the public school to see the state’s pioneering Chinese-English dual language immersion programme in action.

Li was surprised when then the children greeted him in perfectly accented Mandarin.

“It was a totally eye-opening experience to see these five and six-year-olds have a conversation with an adult in a different language that is so different from their native one,” said Li, who is now director of the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University.

Li was witnessing the results of a grass-roots trend in American primary education: language immersion programmes in which children spend at least half of each school day taking their regular classes, like maths, science or physical education, entirely in Mandarin.

Please read more here.

Lots of students, growth, but not enough teachers: A comprehensive look at dual language immersion in the San Gabriel Valley

September 5, 2018
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For some kindergartners starting school this year in the San Gabriel Valley, their first teachers are just as likely to greet them with “hola” or “ni hao” as “hello.”

These are the experiences thousands of students encounter as they start their journey in a dual language immersion program — experiences that will put them on a path to fluently speak, write and read two or more languages.

The number of these programs are at an all-time high, said Ruth Baskett, a project director for the Multilingual Academic Support Unit at the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

“The demand for these programs is everywhere: across the county, across the state, across the nation,” she said. “Parents are asking for these programs for their communities, and school districts are clearly responding. Bilingual education is very much a priority.

“That is not changing any time soon.”

In San Gabriel Valley, a region known for its diverse demographics and immigrant communities, the demand may even be higher. It’s home to 20 school districts that offer dual language immersion programs, including two new ones. Both Rowland Unified and Garvey School District are coming off two years of planning and just launched programs for the 2018-2019 school year.

Please read more here.

Some more on those impenetrable immersion schools in New York City

September 1, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.00.05 AMMy pleas for information about Mandarin immersion schools in New York have been answered by some helpful parents — thanks all.

It’s helpful because finding information about Mandarin immersion schools in New York City isn’t easy. School web sites don’t offer up much and even schools where I’ve talked to parents and know there’s a program don’t mention that they have an immersion on their website. How do people find them? is my question.

That said, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is the largest school district in the United States, serving 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools, so I suppose it’s got bigger fish to fry.

The district has dozens of Dual Language programs in multiple languages, including Spanish, Mandarin Vietnamese, Russian and Urdu, among others. These programs  are composed of half native speakers of the target language and half English speakers, and are immersion.

There are also Transitional  Bilingual Education, which transition speakers of another language to English, as well as English as a New Language. Neither of these are immersion

New as of 2017:

PS/IS 102Q Bayview in Elmhurst, Queens, NYC, which began its  inaugural Kindergarten class in September of 2017.

May have begun 2018-2019 (I say “may” have begun because although although the new Superintendent announced these earlier this year, there’s nothing on any of the website that indicate that they actually teach Chinese, much less teach in Chinese. If you have any information about them, please contact me so I can update the listings.)

Here’s a recent article. And one from January.


  • The Riverside School for Makers & Artists—Chinese DL


  • P.S. 896—Spanish and Chinese DL
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School—Chinese DL [Not sure if this is a continuation of other programs — more info would be helpful.]


  • P.S. 7 Louis F. Simeone—Chinese and Bengali DL
  • P.S. 13 Clement C. Moore—Chinese DL

We’ve now got 264 Mandarin immersion schools in the United States

August 28, 2018

Mind you, a few of them don’t launch until next academic year, but every one on my newly-updated list seems very likely to start. The ones I’m not sure of I don’t include until they’re actually off the ground.

Here’s the full list: MIP list 2018-08-30.

August 28, 2018    Additions and changes.


  • East Light Academy opens in Charleston, SC. This is a sister school to East Link Academy in Greenville, SC, and I believe also to East Voyager Academy in Charlotte, NC.
  • Lam School, private K – 8 in Brooklyn, NY. This is the first U.S. outpost of a school with 5 campuses in Taipei in Taiwan.
  • International Montessori School, Durham NC. Had Spanish and French immersion. Added Mandarin immersion in the past few years. Trying to get more information.
  • Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence in Gwinnett Co., Georgia. Mandarin/Korean immersion opening in 2019-2020
  • Science, Language & Arts International School launching a private K – 8 Chinese immersion program in Brooklyn in 2019-2020. It has a Mandarin Pre-K in place now and a long-time French immersion program.
  • PS/IS 102Q Bayview School, Queens
    • I received a note from a parent at this school that 102Q has a new K-8 Mandarin immersion program. There’s nothing on the website to indicate it does and no one answers the phones, but that’s not uncommon with NYC schools. So, If anyone has more info on it, please pass along.


  • New name for Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy, it’s now Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School,
  • Hopkins Public Schools in Hopkins, Minn.: Xin Xing Academy now feeds to a program at West Junior High which feeds to Hopkins High School. The Mandarin program is now up to 11th grade.
  • College Gardens Elementary School’s Mandarin immersion program in Rockville, Maryland has moved to Bayard Rustin Elementary School.





LA Mandarin immersion charter closes suddenly, leaving parents with few options

August 27, 2018

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August 23, 2018 From: CBS2 Live

On Wednesday night, the board of trustees for the Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools), voted to close PUC International Preparatory Academy (iPrep), located at 1800 Colorado Blvd. The closure took effect immediately Thursday. The new school year had just started up two days ago.

“Where am I going to leave her today?” parent Sandra Bairez told CBS2. “I have to call in sick.”

“This other school started like two weeks ago, what am I supposed to do now?” asked another angry mother. “Where do I take her, what do I do?”

iPrep needed 200 students to remain open, PUC Schools said in a news release. It only had 114 students as of this week.

Parents told CBS2 they had been urged to recruit more students, but had not been warned the situation was so dire. They said they bought uniforms and made childcare arrangements.

“We gave several communications to our families letting them know,” said Zenzontl Kuauhtzin, an administrator with PUC Schools, during a news conference during which he was interrupted by several angry parents.

Founded in 2016, iPrep was a K-8 Spanish-Mandarin dual immersion school.

“Enrollment is the largest source of funding for the school and with this level of enrollment, the program is not viable,” PUC wrote. “With so few students, it’s impossible to continue to operate and provide the types of programs that the students deserve.”

Please read more here.