The school’s principal says the availability of free Chinese teachers was crucial to Broadway Elementary’s decision to offer the Mandarin language immersion program.
“I am Chinese, born and raised in Taiwan, but that has nothing to do with why I’m here doing this program. The Chinese volunteer teachers were what we were able to get. Had we been able to get free French teachers, or free Spanish teachers, we’d be teaching those,” she said.
According to CAL, there were 74 Mandarin language immersion programs in the US in 2008, the last time the data was updated.
Overall, Spanish has the most immersion programs, with 45 percent of the total, followed by French at 22 percent and Mandarin at 13 percent, followed by Hawaiian, Japanese and German.
“In the past, Chinese has traditionally been taught more on the West Coast and in major cities, but we’re seeing more Chinese programs cropping up all over the country now,” she said.