The Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual Program provides students with the opportunity to acquire the basic skills for speaking, reading, writing, listening and communicating in both English and Mandarin at a young age. It is a program in which Mandarin and English are used as the languages of instruction, beginning in Kindergarten or Grade 1 and continuing to Grade 9.
Benefits of Learning Mandarin
- Expands the intellect
- Teaches responsible citizenship
- Develops enhanced feelings of self-esteem due to pride in having acquired a tangible skill
- Strengthens English literacy skills
- Encourages the joy of lifelong learning
- Promotes exploration, understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world and contributes to multilingualism and multiculturalism
- Allows students to compete internationally
- Provides students with more choices for advanced education and career options
- Broadens students' cultural life through access to literature, art, music and theatre in another language
Benefits of Chinese (Mandarin) Program
- In elementary, a 50/50 split, and in Grades 7-9, a 30 per cent split in instructional time between English and Mandarin allows students to build fluency in both languages. Children learn to understand and respond appropriately in Mandarin in a range of everyday situations.
Languages of Instruction
From K to grade 6:
- Chinese Language Arts is taught in Mandarin
- Simplified Chinese script is taught beginning in Kindergarten
- The Han Yu Pin Yin pronunciation system is taught to accelerate the process of learning to read in Chinese
- Math is taught in Mandarin
- Science is taught in Mandarin
- English Language Arts is taught in English
- All remaining subjects are taught in Mandarin or English or bilingually as determined by schools
From 7 to 9:
- Chinese Language Arts and Math are taught in Mandarin
- All remaining subjects are taught in English.
- Students entering kindergarten or Grade 1 can register. Previous Chinese experience is not required and parents do not need to know the language.
- Students with previous Mandarin language experience may start the Mandarin Bilingual program at other grade levels. In the case of alternate entry points, the student, parents and principal of the designated school will meet to determine a personalized plan for successful entry.
How to Register for the 2022-23 School Year
Alternative programs have a new registration process. Please visit our
Program Options page to read the new process and for additional information on alternative program registration.
Find a School
Every child in Calgary has a designated school based on their home address and the program they choose.
Find your designated school with our find a school tool along with the school's contact information and website address. Be sure to use the drop down arrow for 'Program Options' to select 'Chinese (Mandarin) Bilngual.