Our Immersion Model

Why it works

Our Immersion Model

Early immersion education in a world-class learning environment helps language learning, cognitive development and more. Our two-way immersion model works whether a student’s first language is Mandarin, English or any other language.

Two-Way Dual Immersion:

Our model succeeds by enrolling children with backgrounds in both languages, and giving them the opportunity to help each other learn. English speakers help other students learn English, while Mandarin speakers help non-Mandarin speaking students learn Mandarin.

Two-way immersion enables students to maintain their first language while acquiring a second language. Students learn all of their traditional subjects – math, science, social studies, history – in both languages. This enables them to be fully functioning in each language.

Because English is prevalent in our society, all kids will have an easier time learning and maintaining English over time. So initially, we emphasize instruction in Mandarin. Over the course of elementary and middle school, the proportion of Mandarin to English instruction becomes more balanced.

Benefits of Language Immersion:

Foreign language immersion is a well-researched educational program in which the school curriculum is taught through the medium of a foreign language[1].  Exposing children to a second language at an early age stimulates the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills[2].  Further, children in language immersion programs reach higher levels of language proficiency than those in other types of world language programs while also demonstrating increased English vocabulary and overall enhanced cognitive development[3] and consistently outscore monolinguals on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence[4].

Immersion vs. Traditional Language Learning:

Immersion learn has substantial differences from traditional foreign language learning.

Traditional Language Learning Immersion Language Learning
45 – 60 minutes per day 4 – 6+ hours per day
Starts in middle school or high school Starts in Kindergarten or even pre-K
Narrow range of subjects taught All subjects taught in language
Learning by studying and memorization Learning by using

Recent Developments and News about Mandarin Immersion

Chinese on Menu for Elementary Kids.   Wall Street Journal   September 27, 2010


Footnotes:

[1] Center for Applied Linguistics, http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/bibliographies/one-way.html. See also http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLanguageStudyNEA.pdf for a complete summary of the varied benefits of second language acquisition at a young age.

[2] Center for Applied Linguistics

[3] Curtain, H. & Dahlberg, C.A. (2004), Languages and children:  Making the match.  New languages for young learners, grades K-8.  Boston, MA:  Allyn & Bacon.

[4] Bruck, M., Lambert, W.E., Tucker, R. (1974), “Bilingual Schooling through the Elementary Grades:  the St. Lambert Project at Grade Seven”.  Language Learning 24. No. 2:183-204.