The MISSION of the Mandarin Program in the Deer Valley Unified School District is to create a world class, fully articulated Mandarin Chinese language curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten to the University which will enhance the future success of students in a global and technologically advanced society.
Mandarin Project Goals:
- Develop high levels of student foreign language proficiency through increased instructional time in Mandarin Chinese
- Use Research-based instructional practices
- Participate in community-based activities
- To develop curriculum and assessments for three foreign language models (FLEX, FLES and Immersion)
- To improve the foreign language proficiency of student
- To provide research-based professional development for staff
- To expand multicultural awareness among All Mandarin students, parents and staff
Benefits of Early Language Acquisition (Immersion)
Research over the last few decades on early language acquisition has demonstrated that starting a dual language at an early age allows students to become more proficient in that dual language while still maintaining fluency in their primary language. More surprising is the recent research that shows the positive effects of dual language learning on the development of the brain. Some of the findings in the research include:
- Bilingualism fosters the development of verbal and spatial abilities
- Elementary students showed improved reading achievement in their primary language after exposure to foreign language learning
- 4th grade students who received daily language instruction experienced greater achievement in reading, vocabulary, and comprehension on Iowa state tests when compared to students with no foreign language instruction
- Children in foreign language programs have tended to demonstrate greater cognitive development, creativity, and divergent thinking than monolingual children
- When children are adequately exposed to two languages at an early age, they are more flexible and creative and they reach higher levels of cognitive development at an earlier age than their monolingual peers
Why Mandarin Chinese?
- Most widely spoken 1st language in the world (873 million)
- Chinese students (over 127,000) are the largest group of foreign students in America’s universities.
- But only about 14,000 American students are studying in China. However, American students studying Chinese has continued to grow steadily. (The Economist online “Studying the Superpower” Jan, 18, 2011)
- China has an estimated 30,000 organizations or companies offering private English classes. In the five years between 2005-2010, the market has nearly doubled in size to be worth around US $3.1 billion.
(Guardian UK “Battle intensifies for $2bn English-teaching business in China” July 13, 2010)
- About 40 million foreigners are studying Mandarin around the world…,but only 50,000 of them are in the U.S. (Newsweek “America’s Chinese Problem: The reports of progress are wrong” Dec. 6, 2010)
- In 2000, China’s accounted for only 7.1% of the world’s total GDP (in PPP terms). In 2010, that figure increased to 13.3%. By
2020, it is expected to reach 20.7%. (Euromonitor International “Top 10 largest economies in 2020” July 7, 2010)
- China could overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest economy by 2030, according to economic experts.
(New York Times, “China Passes Japan as Second-Largest Economy” August 15, 2010)
- China is the now the second largest economy in the world after the US with a nominal GDP of US $9.87 trillion (2010)
- China has had the fastest-growing major economy for the past 30 years with an average annual GDP growth rate of 10.3% compared with the US’s 2.4% (Goldman Sachs Global ECS Research, Dec. 2010)
- China is the second largest trade partner of the US. The US did over $409 billion in trade with China in 2011 Labor force: 819.5 million (2010 est.), #1 global ranking