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Since 2007, Stonebrae Elementary School has offered an English/Mandarin Dual Language Program.  Starting with one class of 14 students, the program has grown to eleven classes with a total of around 275 students.  Stonebrae DLI program adopted the 50:50 teaching model, that is, the teaching ratio is half in Mandarin and half in English. Dual Language Immersion programs bring together native English speakers and native speakers of another language in a unique opportunity for both groups to learn both languages to high levels. Interactive, thematic lessons encourage students from both language groups to help each other to understand, speak, read and write each other’s language. Using Mandarin and English as the vehicle of instruction, students will be able to communicate effectively in both languages and to achieve academic proficiency that meets and exceeds the State Standards in all academic areas.

Why Dual Language Immersion?


Language learning is natural for young children, and childhood is the ideal time to develop ease of expression and native-like pronunciation in a second language. For over 30 years, research in Canada and the United States has documented the impressive development of second language fluency and academic achievement of children in immersion programs. At the same time, immersion students have maintained and enriched their native language and literacy skills.

Guiding Principles in DLI Education

  • Strand 1 Assessment and Accountability
  • strand 2 Curriculum
  • Strand 3 Instruction
  • Strand 4 Staff Quality and Professional Development
  • Strand 5 Program Structure
  • Strand 6 Family and Community
  • Strand 7 Support and Resources

                                Elizabeth R. Howard, Julie Sugarman, Donna ChristianCenter for Applied Linguistics


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Who should Enroll in This Program?

  • Does your child need academic challenges?
  • Do you value biliteracy, bilingualism, and diversity?
  • Do you want your child to have a linguistic edge in tomorrow’s job market?
  • Are you willing to make a long term commitment to the Mandarin DLI program?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, then this may be the program for your child!

For the 2012-13 school year, Stonebrae Mandarin Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program is accepting registration for grades Kindergarten to 5th grade. Any child entering after 1st grade will need prior knowledge of Mandarin and will be assessed to determine appropriate program placement. Native Mandarin speakers are encouraged to enroll. The school principal, along with the input from the District ELL department, will have the final determination on enrollment for the program.


The program is for students from:

  • English-only speaking families
  • Mandarin-only speaking families
  • Bilingual Mandarin/English speaking families
  • Other bilingual families

Registration for the program follows district procedures, including Open Enrollment and Inter-District Transfer. Transfer requests are available for students living outside the Stonebrae attendance area. Space is limited and there is no guarantee that every child will be admitted.

program goal

Program Goals

  • Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Students develop high levels of oral language proficiency and academic literacy in two languages.

  • Academic Achievement:  Students achieve academic excellence in all content areas in both languages.

  • Cross-cultural Competency: Students develop positive self-esteem, inter-cultural understanding and an appreciation of diverse traditions and cultures in our society.

Why Is It Beneficial?

Research shows that developing two languages during the elementary school years:

  • Has a positive effect on intellectual growth and cognitive development.
  • Improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.
  • Develops positive cultural identity and understanding of other cultures.
  • Gives the child a head start in language requirements for high school and college.
  • Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.
  • Develops a lifelong ability to approach problem-solving from multiple perspectives.

—Virginia Collier, 1996