El Monte City School District Launches Mandarin Dual Language Program
El Monte City School District will launch a Mandarin Dual Language (DLI) program at New Lexington School when the 2020-21 school year begins on Aug. 20, offering students the opportunity to gain intercultural understanding and develop biliteracy in English and Mandarin.
The program will launch with an inaugural kindergarten class and build upon the success of El Monte City’s Spanish DLI program.
“We have created the Mandarin program in response to the overwhelming support of the El Monte community,” El Monte City Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia said. “Students learning Mandarin will increase their cognitive and cultural awareness, be more creative and pave the way for success in college, career and beyond. Bilingual students are the leaders of tomorrow.”
El Monte City’s Mandarin DLI will employ a 50/50 model, using English and Mandarin each for 50% of classroom instruction for the duration of the program. Students will learn to write traditional Chinese, which incorporates a wider range of characters, allowing students to better understand the history and culture of China.
New Lexington’s curriculum will be guided by BetterChinese.com and taught by Emily Lu, a native Mandarin speaker. New Lexington has hired a new principal to support the program – former Columbia Elementary School assistant principal Helen Guo-Perez, who also is fluent in Mandarin.
“I am excited to start this wonderful new academic program at New Lexington,” Guo-Perez said. “It is important for our children to learn global languages, to become bi- or even tri-lingual, to better ensure their academic success and help bring the world together.”
New Lexington is planning for an inaugural class of 24 students but can accommodate additional students if demand is high.
New Lexington will expand the Mandarin DLI by one class a year with the goal of having a schoolwide K-6 program. The enrollment period will be open until classes begin Aug. 18. For information, visit the EMCSD website.