The Mandarin Language Learning Program is a program of choice that begins at the elementary level. Kindergarten through fifth grades are located at Franklin Elementary School. Mandarin language instruction continues with a focus on literacy with two periods of instruction in Mandarin at Jason Lee. At the high school level, students can continue their Mandarin learning through the pathway at Columbia River High School.

The program’s goals are to produce students who are bilingual, biliterate and bicultural; who can achieve academically; and who are ready to enter an academic program at the high school level.

The students within the program become proficient and literate in both English and Mandarin while meeting high academic standards. Students also develop self-regulation, self-advocacy and self-reflection skills.

Overall, students in the Mandarin Language Learning Program are presented with the social and cognitive benefits of bilingualism. They gain a broader vocabulary and multiple views of the world; develop high levels of proficiency in Mandarin and English; and gain a competitive advantage in high school, college, the workplace and the global economy.