Wonderful things our parents said about Jing Mei/Mandarin DL Program:
I have four children in the Mandarin Dual Language Program. Two attend Jing Mei Elementary while my two middle schoolers remain in the program at Tillicum Middle School. My children’s first language was English and they all entered the program with no prior Mandarin learning. But as a result of the Mandarin DL Program, they have all developed a deeper appreciation for the culture and being able to understand and communicate in Mandarin. It is eye-opening to witness their improvement over the years.
My second grader entered kindergarten during the pandemic when school was held virtually. Through daily classes and small group meetings, he learned to read, write, and speak in Chinese! All credit goes to Jing Mei’s incredible teachers and staff.
After graduating from Jing Mei Elementary, my middle schoolers made a smooth transition to Tillicum Middle, where they continue in the dual language path with two classes a day in Mandarin. At the middle school level, they are challenged to higher Mandarin learning through projects and presentations while still getting to enjoy a variety of electives offered by Tillicum.
As parents, we are so happy to see Bellevue School District continue its commitment to nurturing this dynamic Mandarin program. The consistent, increasing demand for Mandarin learning is a testament to the robustness of the program!
Our two children are enrolled in the Dual Language Program at Jing Mei Elementary. Our eldest is in 4th grade and our youngest is in 1st grade. Their father and I are non-native Mandarin speakers and so English is their first language and our spoken language at home.
Our goal for our children at a dual language school is to be able to understand and converse in Mandarin and English confidently. Both our children have not only developed great comprehension skills in both languages, but they have also developed an interest in writing Chinese characters and our eldest is able to use pinyin to complete assignments on the computer. It is so rewarding to read their stories and essays in Mandarin and share this with their grandparents.
In the first couple of years, we had slight concerns about our eldest being behind in English in terms of reading and writing but we have seen a huge transformation starting in 3rd grade when the dual language program becomes 50/50. Now his level of Mandarin and English has far surpassed what we ever expected.
It has been such joy to see our children thrive in a dual language environment. We have felt very supported by teachers and a community that has become a family to us. We appreciate the events run by parents and supported by the school which promote cultural awareness and celebration. We are very grateful to have our children in this program.
I am ethnically Chinese with 3 children. My mother, who although was not from China but ethnically Chinese, had always instilled in her children the importance of the Chinese language – specifically, Mandarin. I fully agree. Not only is it a part of our ancestry, the fundamentals based on the largest population in China and around the world speak volumes (pun intended) to how valuable the language is. As one of the top local Bellevue Sotheby’s realtor, speaking the language is almost mandatory to communicating with incomers. I was elated when my first child was drawn to enter Jing Mei in 2014. Our eldest joined the 4th cohort since the inception of the school. Jing Mei is a cohesive community of students, parents, teachers and staff. I had the privilege of serving as the third Treasurer on the PTSA board. The PTSA board is very involved in shaping the school. The PTSA President, who served alongside, was central to structuring a large number of programs still in place today. The board also fundraises and plans clubs, programs and events for the children. Today we have at least one event each month with strong participation from school members and the local community. Many events would teach about the Chinese culture, such as the Moon Festival and Lunar New Year. The school’s cohesiveness stems from everyone in this small community feeling included. Everyone contributes their part in making things happen for our children. The school is growing rapidly and there is a high demand for enrolment into the school. Ultimately, we are thankful to be a part of the Jing Mei community. My children have the opportunity to learn the language and culture, and become more aware of the world. We go to school with a smile on our faces.
I am a parent of a 3rd grader currently Jing Mei, as well as a 6th grader who is continuing the Mandarin Dual Language into middle school. My husband and I do not speak Mandarin. It was a big leap of faith to put our kids into a dual language program with no understanding of the language. We chose to apply to Jing Mei because we wanted our children to learn a foreign language early.
Over the years we have found the Jing Mei teachers and staff to be dedicated, caring, and motivated to help our kids learn. The parent community is enthusiastic and involved. It’s been a wonderful school choice for our family.
We were not sure what to expect when we enrolled in the Mandarin Dual Language program. Going into Kindergarten with no Mandarin is hard work, but our kids continually rise to the challenge – to them it’s just normal school. It’s been wonderful watching their language skills grow.
We have been very impressed with how much Mandarin our kids know. Frequently, I discover my kids in conversation at the park with Mandarin speaking neighbors. They also enjoy watching cartoons in Mandarin.
Jing Mei is a lovely community and learning environment. My husband and I are so happy with our choice. We are proud to be part of the Bellevue School District MDL community.