developing linguistic competency
The language program K–12 is shaped by two important beliefs: the first is that it is essential for our students, in an ever more interconnected world, to develop an awareness of and appreciation for cultures other than their own. The second is that they can accomplish this goal more thoroughly and meaningfully by developing the linguistic competency to navigate life in other cultures.
The Lower School Mandarin program introduces students to the culture and language of Chinese speakers. Students become familiar with the sounds of Mandarin (the tonal system) and, because they are young, begin to reproduce them easily. As they progress, they broaden their foundation of vocabulary and learn sentence patterns. They begin to learn first to recognize and then to write simple characters.