Monday, October 5, 2009

Do you know about SFUSD's newest's school? Chinese Immersion School at De Avila

Considering Immersion for you child? Check out the newly opened Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila school, centrally located in the Haight Ashbury. The curriculum includes instruction in Cantonese, adding Mandarin in the second grade.

Established in 2009, The Chinese Immersion School at De Avila is the 5th of San Francisco’s Chinese Immersion Programs. By providing a rigorous Chinese and English academic program in a fun and supportive environment, CIS gives children the confidence, scholastic preparation, and cognitive development they need to succeed in the 21st century. The benefits of CIS are not only academic; students are also part of a diverse and multi-lingual community which provides them with the opportunity to see the world through new lenses and to gain a better understanding of themselves and of the world.

1351 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone: (415) 241-6325
Fax: (415) 241-6540
After School Program: (415) 713-0640

School Hours: 8:40am-2:40pm


  1. Is it true there are plans to expand this school into K-8?

  2. I would appreciate if someone could clarify what "adding mandarin in the second grade" means? will they be starting a separate mandarin track? or will the children be learning both cantonese and mandarin at the same time starting in 2nd grade? if so, that seems like a new model for SFUSD have 2 languages taught at once. i was under the impression that de avila school was following the AFY model, where i think mandarin starts in sixth grade?

  3. We toured the school last year hoping to get in (we didn't), but did hear the explanation of the Mandarin. It was to be introduced in second grade in the FLES model. They were going to have Mandarin class twice weekly I think, in addition to the everyday Cantonese. Initially the thought had been to have the Mandarin start later, but the interest in Mandarin was high enough to justify starting earlier (and to mollify those who had hoped De Avila would be a Mandarin immersion program).

  4. both first grade teachers speak cantonese, mandarin and english. (one is from HKG, one from taiwan.)

    they will start mandarin as FLES (a few hours a week) in second grade.

    we were placed at CIS de avila but switched to starr king mandarin since that was our original first choice. but, i felt great about CIS. it has a very motivated, driven parent group. the principal is very effective, approachable, and smart. the facility is awesome (probably one of the best buildings i've been to in sfusd). it will be a successful school. i'd do it if you want cantonese. list it first thought. spots will go go go.

  5. why bother with mandarin/fles in 2nd grade? wont it be hard enough to learn the cantonese?

  6. Cantonese has seven tones and Mandarin has five. It is well documented that it is easier to learn Mandarin if you already have a Cantonese background. It is also well known that the younger you are the easier it is to pick up other languages. If you are interested in having your child attend an immersion program that has no other competing programs at the same school, and will be trilingual upon graduation, you should seriously consider this school.

  7. I happened to know the parents at De Avila and I asked them to clarify. They will communicate with the principal and inform us soon.

    As a native Mandarin speaker, I now speak relatively fluent Cantonese after living in SF for 20years. If you speak either Mandarin or Cantonese already, it's not hard to pick up the other just from watching enough TV. However, you probably won't have perfect accents. We Chinese can tell what province the person comes from the minute that person starts talking.

    Selfishly, as someone whose first language is Mandarin, I am concerned about the quality of the English language instructions. It seems like they will be given by the room teacher who is bilingual. It's hard to imagine the English instruction quality wouldn't be compromised.

    But we are all happy to see more immersion programs in SF.

  8. The written language is the same, I believe.