MISSION VIEJO (CBS) — A school district in Orange County will soon offer classes for students as young as kindergarten to learn Mandarin Chinese.

Trustees for the Capistrano Unified School District trustees approved the county’s first-of-its-kind Mandarin Chinese language program on Monday.

The immersion program will be created by district staff in time for the 2012-13 school year.

Students who choose to attend it will begin their studies in kindergarten or first grade with 80 percent of instruction in Mandarin.

“A challenging economic environment is no excuse for not being able to offer new and innovative educational programs requested by our community,” school board clerk John Alpay said. “There is intense demand for this

At least 165 families have committed their children to the Capistrano Unified program, district officials said.

Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world with over one billion people fluent in the language.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. swhitS says:

    I can’t read,write or do simple arithmetic but I can speak Mandarin hire me!

    1. Tempus Nunc says:

      Employers already do it with the Mexicans, who can’t read, write, or do simple math.

    2. Tom says:


  2. rich says:

    why do american kids need to learn this language?? this is the dumbest thing i have ever heard

    1. Rick says:

      So when the Chinese come marching in to collect the debt we owe them our children can proclaim “Please Don’t Enslave Me.”

    2. Bob L. says:

      Because China and other countries are building its infrastructures, knowing you have to move goods and people to survive in today’s world.

      We are letting our infrastructure fail, like our economy, we are rushing to become a third world country when China takes over within a decade or two.

  3. LucyGoosey says:

    WTH, I’ve just learned Spanish, I blame all this on the drugged out hippies from the 60’s that are running things now.

  4. MarisaH says:

    This is a big win for our children to get a well rounded education and have more opportunities in the future. We currently drive our son to Irvine to attend A Little Dynasty Chinese School and we are glad there will now be something in South Orange County.

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