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Broadway Elementary Offers Mandarin Immersion Program

Broadway Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has announced that it is launching an English-Mandarin Chinese dual-language immersion program starting in September 2010. Broadway Elementary School, located in Venice, serves 257 kindergarten-sixth grade students. It is the second dual English-Mandarin program to be offered in the LAUSD.

“As China becomes a significant world influence, the goal of the pilot Mandarin immersion program is to create future generations who are competitive in the global work force,†said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines. “This program provides students with language skills in English and Mandarin, and prepares them for careers in the global market.â€

Broadway Elementary School began offering Mandarin instruction to all K-6 students using the FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools) model in the 2009-2010 school year. Every student received Mandarin lessons for 30 minutes a day, four days a week. Currently, the District is working with the school to establish a pilot Mandarin immersion program for the 2010-2011 school year starting with a kindergarten program. It will serve students who are English speakers seeking to learn Mandarin, and Mandarin speakers seeking to learn English. English-speaking students and Mandarin-speaking students will serve as each other’s language models. As each class in the pilot immersion program moves into the next grade level, the program will recruit annually from the kindergarten level.

“The immersion program allows students to learn academic grade level content through both English and Mandarin, while exposing students to other cultures,†said Broadway Elementary School Principal Susan Wang. “As students learn to understand and appreciate other cultures, they will be more prepared to succeed in the world. In addition, research indicates that when children are proficient in two languages, they perform better academically than their monolingual counterparts.â€

Once established, Broadway Elementary School’s pilot Mandarin immersion program will be the District’s only Mandarin immersion program in the West Los Angeles area.

The only other Mandarin immersion program in the LAUSD is at City Terrace
Elementary School in East Los Angeles. Broadway Elementary School will continue to offer Mandarin instruction, applying the FLES model, to students in non-immersion classes. Please contact the school at (310) 392-4944 for enrollment information. Families from out of Broadway Elementary School’s attendance boundary are encouraged to apply through the dual language permits process.

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