Asia Society Brings 30 Mandarin Immersion Educators to Yu Ming

May 5, 2024

This week, Yu Ming had the honor of sharing some of the magic happening in our classrooms with a group of 30 Mandarin immersion educators from across the U.S. and Canada, as part of a guided immersive visit to 10 “innovative and accomplished” Chinese language programs organized by Asia Society for the National Chinese Language conference.

Visitors got to witness firsthand our student-centered practices in large and small group instruction, and independent work stations. “I am very impressed by the consistency of teaching and planning across the teachers. Great teamwork!” reflected a visiting teacher.

One cornerstone of our model at Yu Ming is that the quality of our educators’ professional development shapes our students’ learning experience. Our teachers collaborate in teams, and receive individualized coaching and group training focused on cutting-edge content, reflection, and practice labs. Whether teaching in Mandarin or English, they regularly review data to tailor their strategies to meet the unique needs of each student.

One of the visitors commented “I’m impressed by how reading and writing are focused on in small groups.” This personalized approach is just one of the ways our teachers foster incredible outcomes for our students, who consistently rank among the top 1% of the state in English and math regardless of their background. By the time they graduate eighth grade, Yu Ming students are bilingual and biliterate, with AP-level Chinese proficiency, and fully prepared for success in high school and beyond.

This commitment to access and equitable excellence has earned us recognition both locally and nationally over the years, including this year’s ‘Raise the Bar’ award from Families in Action. But our impact extends beyond our own walls as we partner with the University of Washington to expand the Mandarin immersion research base. Their latest study, based on Yu Ming data, shows the efficacy of our immersion model for Mandarin and English literacy regardless of a student’s home language.

As Yu Ming looks to the future, we are preparing to share our award-winning model with other schools, aiming to uplift thousands of additional students and multiply the profound impact of dedicated teachers everywhere.