Friday, May 30, 2008

Cupertino, Saratoga preschool, afterschool center starts early to teach kids languages

This preschool center is teaching Mandarin to its children. The parents are learning some too, mainly from the children. When children know more than one language they do better in all classes in school and in their own language. All children should be taught another language, preschoolers learn quickly too. DP

By Crystal Lu, Cupertino Courier

mercurynews.com: Jaya Fernades, born in Malaysia to Indian parents, is picking up Mandarin phrases from her 2-year-old daughter Thea's preschool at the Cupertino branch of the Growing Tree Learning Center.

Growing Tree, comprising a preschool and several after-school programs for K-6 students, also has a branch in Saratoga. Both branches provide bilingual instructions in English and Mandarin.

"I'm learning Mandarin, too, because the teachers here are wonderful. They let me know what they've taught Thea so I can practice with her at home," says Fernandes, who is fluent in English, Malay and an Indian dialect.

Fernandes' husband, Pradeep, who was born in India and raised in Kuwait, speaks a different Indian dialect as well as Arabic, English and Hindi.

The multilingual couple is having their two children learn Mandarin because it's the official language of the world's most populated country and a widely spoken foreign tongue in the Bay Area.

Thea's brother Zain, 6, didn't learn Mandarin in preschool but is now attending a Mandarin after-school program at Growing Tree.

It's common for an English-and-Mandarin preschool to be part of a learning center that offers after-school Mandarin classes for older children. New Concept Chinese School in Sunnyvale is another example.

New Concept was founded in 1993 as a weekend Chinese school. When its affiliated bilingual preschool opened in 2000, all the children enrolled were from Mandarin-speaking families. In 2002, the preschool began to see English-speaking parents. Since then, the number of such parents has been rising, according to Jane Chen, principal of New Concept.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

1 comment:

ashley pichard said...

My kids are studying in a Cupertino child care center who are providing learning and care programs for children ages 4 to 12 in Cupertino, CA. Founded four years ago, Leapstart, formerly known as United Day Care Homes, is dedicated to giving children a safe and comfortable environment where they can learn, laugh, play, relax and feel right at home.