Initiation to Mandarin

In September 2010, the French American School of Silicon Valley added an exciting new program to its curriculum, designed to expose students to the Mandarin language and the Chinese culture.

The program was first offered in Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten in 2010-2011, and then extended to the First Grade in 2011-2012 and to the Second Grade in 2012-2013.  Year after year, the program will develop and eventually be part of the curriculum in all grades, from Preschool to Fifth Grade.

  • The Mandarin program in 3rd grade will be opened in September 2013
  • The Mandarin Program in 4th grade will be opened in September 2014
  • The Mandarin Program in 5th grade will be opened in September 2015

This teaching model based on progressive development is used in most schools where a new foreign language is meant to be integrated into the curriculum.  It enables students to gradually build up their proficiency in the language over the years, in a consistent and harmonious way.

The School’s mission as a bilingual French-American School remains the same.  The initiation to Mandarin program works at another level: its goal is to expose students to a new language and a new culture by using teaching techniques based on games and academic activities suited to children aged 3 to 10.  As classes are limited to one 55-minute weekly session, the program cannot be expected to actually teach students how to speak the language fluently.   Rather, this advanced initiation process is meant to give students skills which will enable them to successfully pursue and complete their study of Mandarin in middle school or high school if their families wish them to do so.

The teachers selected to be in charge of the Mandarin program all have excellent qualifications.  Besides having either a B.A. or a Masters in Mandarin, they hold teaching credentials and have been trained through the Bay Area Foreign Language Program (B.A.F.L.P.) which is hosted at Stanford University  School of Education .

Read the complete description of the programicon_pdf