Dallas International School has always focused on helping students become fluent in the languages of the world, including French, English and Spanish. Starting in the fall of 2017, the school will introduce its specialized Mandarin Chinese program, with instruction beginning at age two.
In partnership with the Confucius Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, this program will be available to all DIS students upon entrance into preschool. In addition to the signature French/English immersion instruction that each student receives, parents will have the option to place their child in a Mandarin Chinese language track one day per week. A Spanish language track is also offered. Both tracks are available through fourth grade, with additional instruction being offered in the student’s chosen language all the way through high school graduation.
“This program will be an early exposure to a third language for our students,” said Dr. Mehdi Lazar, head of the primary school at DIS. “Adding Mandarin to our preschool and elementary academic offerings will not only prepare our students for a globalized world, but it will also expand their understanding of languages.”
In addition to classroom instruction, students will have numerous cultural learning opportunities through the new program, including Chinese folk stories and plays, traditional dances, instruction in Chinese painting, writing and calligraphy and even a Chinese New Year celebration. This unique offering is meant as another language option for DIS students as they prepare to become global citizens. As the most spoken language in the world, experience with Mandarin Chinese will help students not only during their academic career, but throughout their lives.