Why Mandarin - 中 文

  • Chinese is the #1 most widely spoken language in the world
  • Opens job opportunities in the #2 largest and fast-growing economy
  • Boosts brainpower as learning Mandarin uses both sides of the brain
  • Gives insight into a culture with 5000 years of history

Dating back to 1200 BC, Mandarin is one of the oldest languages in the world. When children become fluent in Mandarin, they learn about an entirely different part of the globe along with its rich cultures and history. Today, Chinese has the most native speakers of any language in the world encompassing 1.3 billion people; over 900 million of whom speak Mandarin.

With its semanto-phonetic writing system made up of characters that include pictograms, logograms, and ideograms, Mandarin is challenging and fun to learn. It is also a tonal language; the same word can have different meanings when one of four different tones is used. A little-known benefit is that once students begin to learn characters in Chinese, they find that many of the same characters are used or adapted to the Japanese and Korean languages.

Interview with HWIS alumna

HWIS Grade 3 Students Win Gold at NYU's "Rock That Movie"


How Do We Develop Mandarin Literacy in a Chinese Immersion School?

Mandarin literacy is uniquely challenging especially in a non-Chinese speaking environment. In a Mandarin immersion school, students learn content such as math or science in a second language as well as in English. The better one can read in that language, the more content he/she learns, and the more content he/she learns the easier reading becomes.
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Tonal Language Speakers Have an Advantage in Musical Learning, Pitch Training

A new study finds that speakers of tonal languages like Cantonese and Vietnamese not only perceive music notes more finely than speakers of "flat" languages like English, but that their brains also process some aspects of music as well as those of trained musicians- yet another reason for monolingual Americans to feel inadequate.
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Our Bi-lingual Journey by Jordan Wagenseller Jones

We started this bi-lingual journey in 2018 when we lived in San Francisco. Terrified we could not find placement in a daycare, we applied to every daycare in a mile radius of our home. It came down to two options, Mandarin immersion or a California-hippy art-based daycare. My comfort level rested with the arts program, but my husband’s wise words changed my mind...
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Rock that Movie

HWIS, the only elementary program to win, was judged on Mandarin skills of students
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Mandarin Grade 5 & 6 Informational and Creative Writing

NJ Mandarin students Rachel Ma (Grade 6) describes a writing assignment in which students had to work in teams to write a story based on a series of pictures and Enzo Lai (Grade 5) discusses a project in which he researched Jane Goodall’s life and work, developed a picture story, and wrote informational text.
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A Global Language

Learning Mandarin equips students for the world beyond HudsonWay. By some estimates, one-fifth of the globe speaks Chinese, and the population of China alone is 1.4 billion people making it the most populous country in the world.

While China has almost 300 different languages and dialects, three-quarters of the population speak Mandarin. It is the official language of Taiwan, one of four official languages of Singapore, and spoken within Asia as a result of the Chinese "diaspora." Students that are bilingual and biliteral in Mandarin are uniquely-positioned when they enter the global community.

The Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den

A famous poem by Yuen Ren Chao, a Chinese linguist, is an example of the use of tonality in Mandarin. Chao wrote a poem of 92 characters entitled, “The Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den.” All of the characters in the poem have one sound, “shi,” but when said in different tones, they tell a story.