Mandarin Immersion Program

A visual and performing arts public charter school open to all children K-8.  Tailor-made educational program for students who have an interest in the visual and performing arts and/or Mandarin Chinese. Established in 1999.

Mandarin Immersion Program 2-2019.pdf

Mandarin Immersion Program Admission Requirements

Immersion education is a family commitment, a family investment, and a family experience.  Achieving high levels of oral, reading, and written proficiency in a second language is a long-term process. Parent and student commitment to the program is essential for success and for the school. Immersion programs depend on long-term commitment to control attritionIn addition to the general admission requirements, RSA has the following special requirements for families in the immersion program:

  • Commitment by the parent/guardian to keep their student(s) in the immersion program at least throughout the elementary grades (K-5).
  • Recognition by the parent/guardian that the student will have unique opportunities and challenges in this program and a pledge to be both supportive and understanding of the student and the program goals.
  • Support by the parent/guardian to read to the student in English every night at home to reinforce English language development.

Mandarin Immersion Program Goals

  • Students will be bilingual, bi-cultural and bi-iterate.
  • Students will be able to meet or exceed state and local content standards in all subjects.
  • Students will be at or above grade-level in English language skills.
  • Students will develop high Mandarin fluency & literacy.
  • Students will develop an increased cultural awareness.
  • Students will be sensitive to and appreciative of our diverse society.

Mandarin Immersion at RSA

  • RSA’s Mandarin Immersion Program is a comprehensive, partial immersion program in grades kinder-fifth.  In partial immersion programs, a portion of the regular school curriculum is taught in English and a portion is taught in the second language; the new language is the medium for instruction rather than merely the object of instruction.  All instruction follows the California curriculum frameworks and meets or exceeds California and local content standards in all subject areas. The curriculum is maximized to increase proficiency in both English and Mandarin across all grade levels. Language does not exist in a vacuum – it both shapes, and is shaped by, the culture of the people who speak it. Therefore, RSA’s curriculum includes elements of Chinese culture and activities such as arts, food, crafts, traditions, poetry, holidays, music, etcImmersion teachers initially use engaging teaching techniques to communicate their meaning, and students quickly catch on and understand the new language and the lessons taught.  Students in immersion programs reach higher levels of fluency and literacy than those in traditional language classes.  Immersion learners benefit cognitively, exhibiting greater nonverbal problem-solving abilities and more flexible thinking.  Research consistently shows that immersion education actually enhances English language development over time.


Benefits of Early Bilingual Education

  • Studies show that the human brain is more open to linguistic development in the early years, and children who learn a language before adolescence are more likely to develop native-like pronunciation.  Bilingual learning enhances elementary students’ intellectual development and basic skills and performance, and improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.  Studying a second language has positive effects on memory, listening, and critical thinking skills. It is our responsibility to educate students to have knowledge of other world regions, cultures, and global issues, to have skills in communicating in more than one language, and to have respect and consideration for other cultures and peoples.

Why Mandarin Chinese?

  • The US Government classifies Mandarin Chinese as a Category IV language - one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn. It is best learned in elementary school.  Research suggests that the more difficult the language to learn, the greater the overall cognitive benefits, additionallyattaining fluency in a second language, particularly more difficult languages, makes learning a third or more languages much easier.  Language is at the heart of the human experience. To relate in a meaningful way to another human being, one must be able to communicate.