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Beginning foreign language instruction early sets the stage for students to develop advanced proficiencies in one or more languages.
Younger learners have the capacity to develop near native-like pronunciation and intonation in the new language. Studies also suggest that children who learn a foreign language receive cognitive benefits that extend to learning in other subjects. Immersed students typically demonstrate higher mental flexibility on tasks, ability to problem solve more fluidly and better communication skills.
Being bilingual enhances opportunities in government, business, law, medicine and health care, teaching, technology, the military, communications, industry, social service, and marketing.
The Mandarin Chinese immersion program at Whispering Wind Academy is open to children entering Kindergarten to 5th grade. Mandarin Chinese prepares children to be globally competitive and ready for 21st century success. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by one-sixth of the world's population in one of the world’s strongest economies. The U.S. State Department has identified the language as one of 13 in high-demand but for which there are too few proficient U.S. speakers.
Kindergarten to 5th grade students receive instruction and support in English while learning Mandarin Chinese in an immersion format. In our program, students spend part of the day receiving math and science instruction in Mandarin Chinese, then receive instruction in reading and social studies in English. The goals of the program are to acquire proficiency in listening and speaking, acquire an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures, and acquire some proficiency in reading and writing.
In Sandpiper Elementary's immersion program, English-speaking students will spend half of the instructional school day learning subjects in Spanish and the other half learning in English. Students undertake the same rigorous school curriculum in both halves of the day, with the same learning outcomes expected. The program is designed for students in grades K-6, as well as an immersion program for 4-year-old Pre-K children. If you have a student ready for these grades and want to discover more about FLITE, please call the Sandpiper Office to schedule a tour.
Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, Sandpiper Elementary will be an open boundary school, meaning that any Arizona student can apply to the specialized Spanish Immersion program via Open Enrollment.