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Second Dual Language Immersion Program To Be Added for 2016-2017 School Year
Posted by: Andrea Fox Published: 1/19/16

Mandarin Program Planned for Marengo Elementary School

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (January 19, 2016) – Last August, twenty-four eager South Pasadena kindergarten students started school in a Spanish dual language immersion classroom at Monterey Hills Elementary School.  With the start of the 2016-2017, the second program offering dual immersion education – this time featuring Mandarin – will begin at Marengo Elementary School. The District invites all interested South Pasadena parents to attend the Dual Immersion Parent Information Meeting on February 4, 2016 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the District office boardroom at 1020 El Centro Street to learn more.


The format for the Mandarin program will be similar to the Spanish program in that students will learn the targeted language as well as English.  This program is designed for English learners and English speaking students and will follow a 90/10 instructional model, which means that approximately 90% of the class will be taught in the target language and 10% will be taught in English in the half-day Kindergarten class.  In grades 1-5, students will learn in the 50/50 instructional model so that students can excel in both an alphabet based language (English) and a language rooted in a logographic system (Mandarin), where symbols represent words.


“All the right tools were in place for a successful first year Spanish dual language immersion classroom,” said Christiane Gervais, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services.  “We are thrilled by the progress the Spanish dual language immersion students have made, and we applaud the teachers and leaders involved in designing this program and the Mandarin program to come.”


The District is looking forward to starting the Mandarin dual immersion program at Marengo Elementary where a great number of staff members already match the criteria of success such as being bi-literate, bilingual and bicultural.  Additionally, a 2014-2015 community survey indicated that a large number of Marengo families share an interest in a Mandarin dual immersion program.  Last fall, the District’s Dual Immersion Advisory Committee brought forth the recommendation to locate the program at Marengo to the South Pasadena Board of Education.


Students participating in the dual immersion program strive for academic excellence in all subject areas, meeting or exceeding the District’s Common Core State Standards as well as developing an appreciation of world languages and cultures.  For additional program information including enrollment procedures for both the Spanish dual immersion program at Monterey Hills and the Mandarin dual immersion program at Marengo Elementary, visit www.spusd.net and please attend the parent meeting on February 4, 2016.  Translation will be provided.




For more information, contact: Andrea Fox, South Pasadena Unified School District, afox@spusd.net