Next fall, the Mandarin class will be cut from the Tam District curriculum due to low enrollment in the course.
Assistant Principal Liz Chacon said that if there are not enough students enrolled in a class, the school district cannot continue it. “It all ends up being a numbers game,” she said.
According to Chacon, the Mandarin class was only open last year to students in Mandarin 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8. This year, Mandarin classes are only open to students in Mandarin 5-6 and 7-8.
Chacon says that the continuation of the Mandarin class this year allows everybody to get their two year graduation requirement and their three year recommended for UCs and CSUs without having to meet the language requirement with other languages.
Deborah McCrea, head of the World Languages Department, says that it is better for students to have more variety of languages available to them. “Languages are open doors of opportunities to our students,” she said.
McCrea also said that Mandarin is a difficult language to learn for English speakers because it’s a tonal language and it is a much different style of writing, possibly making it a less desirable language for students to learn.
Chacon said that there is still the option that people could take languages at College of Marin. “I know that it can be hard on the families and the students that are interested,” she said. “I’m glad that COM is able to continually offer Mandarin to the students who want it.”