More Mandarin classes will be offered to students who had never heard of it before they began studying the Chinese language in school.

More Mandarin ClassesAmong students in the Bellflower Unified district, less than one percent are native Mandarin speakers.  86 percent of the students are native Spanish speakers.

“A small percentage of students kind of know what Mandarin is,” said Susie Kline, an after school teacher of the Mandarin language.   “The majority of them say Mandarin is from Japan. They have very little knowledge of the language and the culture, too. Once I introduce it to them and explain what Mandarin is, they get excited.”

The district hopes to make students trilingual by exposing them to Mandarin.  Seventh graders took the language as a course, and students in the other grades studied it in after school programs.

The Mandarin program will expand next year, allowing eighth graders to learn the language for credit.  The district is also exploring offering Mandarin at the high school level.

The district plans to expand its Mandarin program next school year to allow eighth graders to study the language for academic credit. The district is also in the process of trying to get Mandarin courses approved at the high school level.

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