Elementary Mandarin Immersion Program Ben Franklin Elementary School
5206 Franklin St.
Vancouver, WA 98663
See how much they have learned! September
Kindergarten students experience their first day in the Mandarin Immersion Program.
Ten months later, students perform a play, reciting their lines in Chinese.
The Mandarin Immersion Program The Mandarin Immersion Program is an academically challenging and enriching program for developing linguistic proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and English. Located at Ben Franklin Elementary School, the program is open to students throughout Vancouver Public Schools. See "Application Process" for details.
The 90/10 instructional model
At the kindergarten level, approximately 90 percent of instruction will be in Mandarin and 10 percent in English to facilitate early Mandarin Chinese language acquisition and literacy development.
As students transition to higher grades, more of the instruction shifts to English, so that in the upper grades, there will be 50/50 Mandarin/English instruction.
• Obtain high levels of achievement in all academic subjects
• Achieve true bi-lingualism and bi-literacy of participating students
• Foster and promote cultural diversity and respect among all students
Parent participation and commitment
To ensure achievement and success for students in the Mandarin Immersion Program, it is necessary for families to commit to the program for six years (kindergarten through fifth grade). Active parent support is extremely important to the long-term success the program.
Benefits of a Mandarin Immersion Program • Bilingual students generally demonstrate greater academic gains.
Research shows that students in language immersion programs typically develop strong academic skills in addition to becoming proficient in both languages.
• Students have the opportunity to achieve true bilingualism and biliteracy in Mandarin and English. Students learn languages more easily at an early age. Immersing and instructing students in a second language provides an effective vehicle for students to learn to speak, read and write fluently in both languages by fifth grade.
• Students develop cultural literacy as well as enhanced cognitive skills.
Language immersion students benefit from the ability to communicate with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They also typically experience academic achievement at or above their single-language peers. Research covering more than 40 years of language immersion instruction shows that students receive a variety of cognitive benefits such as mental flexibility, nonverbal problem-solving abilities, and enhanced critical thinking skills.
Application Process Interested families must complete and submit an application for their child. Applications for kindergarten for the 2014-15 school year will be available at Franklin Elementary and online starting April 14, 2014. Applications must be submitted to Franklin Elementary no later than 3:00 p.m. on May 9, 2014 to be entered into the lottery drawing. (If there are more applicants than spaces in the program, students will be selected through a lottery process.) Students residing within the school boundaries of Franklin Elementary will be placed in the first lottery drawing. The second lottery drawing will be for students outside of the school boundary, but within the Vancouver Public Schools' boundaries. The third lottery will be for students outside of Vancouver Public School District (Regulation 5115). The lottery drawing for Franklin's Mandarin Immersion full-day kindergarten will be at 3:30 p.m. on May 13, 2014. All applicants will be notified of the lottery drawing outcome.
Parents of students outside of school boundaries who are selected for this program will be required to provide their own transportation to and from school.
Once students are admitted to the program, they will have continued placement in the program each year without having to reapply. Annual renewal of boundary transfers for students living outside Franklin boundaries is required.
Laura Dilley, Principal
Franklin Elementary School
Gilbert Luna Curriculum Specialist
"It is high time we begin to treat language skills as the asset they are, particularly in this global economy. Anything that encourages a person to know more than one language is positive and should be treated as such. Our nation can only grow stronger if all our children grow up learning two languages."
-Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education