MANDARIN IMMERSION » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

M A N D A R I N    I M M E R S I O N    Q & A


What are the qualifications of the Mandarin teacher?

A Mandarin teacher is required to have the California Multiple Subject Credential with a Mandarin BCLAD (Bilingual Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development)


How much Mandarin is taught each day?

We are what’s called a 50/50 program. Two classes rotate each day between English and Mandarin classrooms. Each class spends exactly half of the day in the Mandarin classroom. Only Mandarin is spoken in the Mandarin classroom. The goal is to teach grade level content standards through both languages, so that by the time the students are in upper grades, they are proficient academically in both languages.


How much Mandarin can I expect my child to learn in the kinder year?

Speaking and listening are emphasized more than word recognition initially. By the end of the year, most kindergarteners will learn to write 50 Mandarin characters.  Students will also learn the Common Core State Standards in Mandarin and English.


When will my child be fluent in Mandarin?

This is hard to project as each child learns differently; however, by the end of the first year, your child should be able to say and understand simple sentences. Our current 3rd Graders are able to hold academic-level discussions with one another in Mandarin during class.


Is traditional or simplified Chinese used in the classrooms?

We teach traditional first and will introduce simplified later. The specific grade level has not yet been determined. The main curriculum will be in traditional characters, but students need to be able to recognize simplified characters.

We believe that students should be taught both – simplified, to communicate with majority of the Chinese people in the world, and traditional, to be able to appreciate the beauty of the Chinese language in its written form and to understand the roots of the characters.


Do you teach Taiwanese phonics or Pinyin?

We teach neither system in the beginning. Pinyin is introduced in second grade.


How will the kids learn English?

The purpose of the immersion program is not only to teach Mandarin, but to teach grade level content in both English and Mandarin. Students will still take all the District-required assessments in English. English Language Arts is a required component of their instructional day. They will use the California Treasures program like the rest of the school.


What enrichment classes are in the kindergarten schedule?

Kindergarten teachers are multiple-subject teachers, and they integrate music, arts, PE, and movements throughout the instructional day.  Each year the District allocates arts instruction to schools.   In addition to the District's art program (visual arts, dance chorus, or theater), we have Art in Action.  Broadway also has the STAR PE psychomotor program and the Share and Care art therapy program from Cedar Sinai Hospital.


How can I help my child learn the language if I do not speak Mandarin?

Teachers will send home supporting materials when appropriate. Better Chinese is an instructional program that has an online component for home access. Parents can help their children with reviewing the content online.


May I volunteer in the Mandarin classroom if I do not speak Mandarin?

Volunteers may not speak to the Chinese teacher in English in the presence of the children but it is possible to do quiet work for the teacher. Volunteers are invited to help in the classroom at the discretion of the teachers and by appointment only. Parents interested in volunteering on campus during school hours should visit the office to obtain the required forms.


For what grades is the Mandarin Immersion Program offered?

The Mandarin Immersion Program is offered from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.


May I enroll my child in the Mandarin Immersion program in a later grade?

A child may enter the program in First Grade without a language test. Entrance into any grade beyond First Grade requires passing language tests to indicate proficiency in both Mandarin and English. We do recommend that a student entering at First Grade be Mandarin/English bilingual so that the student is not faced with the difficult challenge of being a whole year behind in Mandarin.


How are the Mandarin Program students projected to score on standardized tests?

Research indicates that when children are proficient in two languages, they score higher than their monolingual peers on standardized tests. Our first cohort of Mandarin Immersion students took the California Standardized Test for the first time in 2013 with the result that 95% scored in the “Advanced” range in English Language Arts and 88% scored in the “Advanced” range in Math. 98% of MI students scored “Proficient” or above across both subject areas. 


G E N E R A L    Q & A


How long is the school day? Is this a full-day kindergarten program?

The school day is 8:15 a.m. to 2:44 p.m. It is a full-day kindergarten program.


How many students are in a class? What is the teacher-student ratio?

The LAUSD class norm is currently 24. Each class has one teacher and possibly one part-time or full-time teaching assistant. Teaching assistants are provided for the maximum number of hours possible each year based upon parent fund-raising efforts.


How do lunch and snack/recess work?

Free breakfast is available to all students. Your child has the option of buying a school lunch or bringing one from home.  All parents should pack a nutritious, nut-free snack for their child every day. School does not provide snacks. For the safety of all students, Broadway is a nut-free campus.


Is there an after-school program?

Yes. Broadway offers both the STAR after-school program and the District’s Beyond the Bell Youth Services Program. STAR is a structured, academic and enrichment program; Beyond the Bell is a playground supervision program. More information on both of these programs is available upon request. The Beyond the Bell playground supervision program is for students in grades 2–5 only.


Is there homework in kindergarten? If so, how much?

The LAUSD homework policy is about 15-20 minutes daily for kindergarten. Some students take longer depending on their ability to work and focus. We also require that students in all grade level read for 20 minutes daily. For kindergarten students, this can be interactive reading time with their parents. Homework provides an opportunity for quality time between parents and children. It also can be a parent’s window into the child’s school day.


How much volunteering is expected of me as a parent?

While none is required, as much as possible is needed and appreciated. Fortunately, there are a wide range of opportunities for volunteering – helping in the classroom, completing take-home projects for teachers, facilitating parent/teacher communication, participating in the Booster Club, helping with school Tours, writing grants, coordinating extra-curricular activities, and/or serving on school-wide committees. Parents interested in volunteering on campus during school hours should visit the office to obtain the required forms.


Are students allowed to walk off campus?

Absolutely not. The school is a locked campus, like all LAUSD schools, during the instructional day. The only way in and out is through the front door. Students are supervised during the instructional day and in the after school programs.


Where and when do we drop off and pick up our children?

Students may be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. The first bell rings at 8:10 a.m., at which point the students line up by class. The second bell rings at 8:15 a.m., when the instructional day starts. Breakfast in the Classroom is provided at no charge during the first 10 minutes of class and participation is strictly voluntary.


Students must be picked up at 2:44 p.m. unless they are attending the after-school program. Late parents will have to pick up their children from the office.


Drop-off and pick-up are done through the Broadway Avenue gate next to the auditorium, not the main entrance on Lincoln.