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Moments after Wang's class began, out came Pikachu, Hello Kitty, a dragon, and several other props all geared toward teaching the basics of Mandarin Chinese.
Tina Tsai said her son already had started refusing to speak the little bit of Mandarin she had taught him.
During one lesson, Wang rolled a ball to students sitting in a circle and asked them to introduce themselves in Mandarin. A few students made clear that they could say more in the language and were ready to jump ahead.
"He didn't understand why he had to speak it," she said.
Not surprisingly, nearly all of the 28 students in Fremont's first Mandarin immersion kindergarten class have at least one parent of Chinese descent, although English is the only language spoken in most of their homes.
Fremont's program at Azevada Elementary School will be similar to the district's long standing K 6 Spanish language immersion program, in which instruction starts out mostly in the foreign language and then evens out by fifth grade.
Wang, the kindergarten's specially credentialed teacher, taught and sang in Mandarin on Wednesday, but she spent a fair amount of time using English to make jokes, show kids to the restroom and figure who was heading off to day care after class.
Several parents said they hoped their children would have more success and more fun learning the language than they did attending weekend Chinese language schools as children.
For many children of Chinese descent, kindergarten is when they stop learning Mandarin.
With a little prodding from the teacher, they said "zia jian" as they waved goodbye to their moms and dads before Wang closed the door.
"Once they start going to school and talking to their friends, they start losing their language," said Stan Tan, whose daughter is in the class.
will be proficient in the world's most spoken language by middle school.
FREMONT Children in teacher Orchid Wang's kindergarten class didn't say "bye bye" to their parents, who crowded just outside the classroom door Wednesday morning, snapping photos of their little ones sitting at school desks for the first time.
Chinese parents and their spouses lobbied the district for two years to establish the program, which they hope will immerse their children in Chinese language and culture in a way that feels fun and natural.
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Lauren Lym said her mother has tried to chat with her kindergartner, Ella, but there's little the two can say to each other.
language. Just as important, many said, is that their children will Michael Kors Wallet Jet Set be able to have meaningful conversations with their grandparents, many of whom do not speak English.
Fremont starts first Mandarin immersion kindergarten program
If everything goes according to plan, these 28 students Michael Kors Greenwich Large Grab Bag Black
Mandarin immersion programs already have been implemented at several Bay Area schools, including ones in San Francisco, Cupertino, Palo Alto and Hayward.
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