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Arabic & Mandarin

Similarly to Spanish, Arabic is taught orally to a large degree from First Grade onwards. However, due to the enormous difference in Arabic script, writing is also introduced as an artistic and beginning experience of a new world of writing. The children copy Arabic words and texts and learn how writing can be turned into beautiful patterns. They also sing Arabic songs, chant, recite poetry and build an age-appropriate vocabulary.

Reading is introduced formally in Grade 4. Grade 5-8, please see Spanish.

Mandarin is taught in a similar way, given that the writing is so different to English writing.

Currently, Grades 1, 2 and 3 learn Mandarin, Grades 4 and 5 learn Arabic. The current Grades 1-3 will continue to study Mandarin and the current Grades 4 and 5 will continue studying Arabic through eighth grade. These two languages were chosen after examination of the following questions:

  • What are the qualities of the English language spoken in California?
  • What language can complement the qualities of this English?
  • How does speaking English affect the physicality (speech organs, i.e. the whole body), relationship to the world, etc., that the children are developing and what other languages can complement them? (gesture, mimicry, cultural relationships to the world, literature, music, etc.)

We found that Mandarin and Arabic offered sound formations, music, cultural expansions to English that would be very useful and exciting for our children.