Mandarin Chinese Immersion Programs Grow In Popularity Among Valley Public Schools

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 5:05am

More Valley parents are opting to send their kindergartners to mandarin Chinese immersion programs. An elementary school in Scottsdale is joining a growing group of public schools to offer the curriculum.

Officials at Desert Canyon Elementary say their new program has been in the works for about two years.

Principal Kristin Kinghorn says it was developed after hearing from both parents and teachers that foreign-language acquisition was a top priority. She explained they chose mandarin because it was the second-most spoken language in the world.

"And we started looking at some of the neighboring states that offer a mandarin immersion program and the great success that they’ve had and the success that the student have had," Kinghorn said. "And how powerful it is that when you can speak English and mandarin you can speak to 50 percent of the population."

According to the Arizona Department of Education, nine schools statewide offer Mandarin immersion, but officials there add they expect that number to grow.

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