How Do I Find an Asian Language School?
It can be hard to find a language school that’s right for your child. It's best to ask for a recommendation from other parents. One resource is The Chinese School Association in the United States, which lists a limited number of Chinese schools across the nation.
In the Chicago area, here are two Mandarin programs that are suitable for children who don’t already speak Mandarin at home:
Mao Bi (now closed)
Downers Grove, Hyde Park, Flossmoor, Libertyville, St. Charles, Vernon Hills, and Warrenville, IL (at Creme de la Creme only)
This is a fun immersion program with native-speaking teachers who incorporate songs, crafts, snacks, puppet shows, and cultural experiences into the classroom. There is a lot of repetition and a focus on correct pronunciation. There are classes for children ages 2 to 18. Kids receive a workbook and a CD to help them practice at home. You can call to sign up for a trial class.
Arlington Heights, Barrington, Deerfield/Northbrook, Hinsdale/Oak Brook, Lincoln Park, Chicago, Naperville, Wilmette/Evanston
This is a total immersion program where native speakers teach Mandarin to the kids. They have a parent-tot class for ages 12-36 mo, as well as kids only classes for ages 3-5 and 5-8. It’s a fun program, which incorporates songs, a snack, and a craft for each class. You can call to sign up for a free class. They also offer classes in French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
There are other programs, which are more geared towards students who are already fluent in Mandarin:
Ray Chinese School
This program meets on Saturdays and has separate classes for kids who already speak Mandarin at home and for those who don’t. They have classes from preschool up through high school, as well as adult programs. There are also classes in dance, drawing, painting, chess, basketball, martial arts, and math.
Tzu Chi Foundation
Which Asian language schools can you recommend?