Piedmont Language School Mandarin Program

The Piedmont Language School Mandarin Program helps children enjoy learning Mandarin through social interaction, hands-on activities and creative thematic teaching. We believe immersion learning is the best way for children, and we use Mandarin as much as possible in the classrooms. Chinese culture is a significant component of language learning and we introduce through songs, stories and the celebration of key Chinese holidays in the classrooms across all levels.

Introduction to Mandarin class is for beginners and our youngest students (pre-K to 2nd grade). The Introduction class lays a fun foundation for learning at the higher levels. A textbook is not used at this level. Our teacher teaches in themes; primarily using crafts, rhymes, storytelling and games to engage students. Some of the themes explored in this class are Myself, My Family and My Feelings. The idea is for students to get a feel for the language, and to immerse in the spoken language without being conscious of the fact that they are learning. Students will build a vocabulary to ready them for Level 1A.

Level 1A builds upon the themes in our Introduction class by revisiting them in greater depth. A textbook is not used; instead, we have a weekly leaflet containing the week’s lesson that students bring home to reinforce what they have learned in the classroom. A colorful workbook with pictures and a writing exercise book introduces students to basic character strokes and sequence. Seeing Chinese characters as structures made up of recognizable strokes and components helps students with writing at the higher levels. The focus at Level 1A is listening, speaking and simple character recognition, rather than writing. Level 1A bridges the Introduction class and Level 1B.

Level 1B continues to explore the themes in our Introduction class with the help of the Chinese Wonderland textbook. Students cover more vocabulary and are taught sentence structures they can apply to their daily life. The textbooks have color pictures and dialogue suitable for students of elementary school age. Level 1B also uses worksheets and a writing exercise book. Teachers give weekly homework (10 – 15 mins) and fun topical assessments (quizzes, class competitions) to make sure students understand what they have learned. This level focuses on listening, speaking and reading, and the fundamentals of writing Chinese characters. There is some exposure to Hanyu Pinyin although is not formally.

Level 2 continues to explore themes from daily life using the next level textbook from the Chinese Wonderland series. Examples of themes in Level 2 are Location of Objects and Visiting the Park and Zoo. Students continue to develop their writing skills and to build up a database of simple Chinese characters. The Pinyin system with its four tones is formally taught at this level, enabling students to pronounce/read more complex Chinese characters. Teachers give weekly homework (15 – 20 mins) and evaluate students after each topic to make sure they are ready to move on.

Level 3 also use the Chinese Wonderland textbooks and examine other themes that are of interest to young learners. Visiting the Farm and Extra-Curricular Activities are some themes from the textbook. In Extra-Curricular Activities, students learn to describe their activities, explain why they like or dislike these activities, and what their schedules are for these activities. Other themes include My Summer Vacation and My School Life. In My School Life, students learn to describe their daily routines and class schedules in some detail.

Advanced Level(s) use the textbook and there is increased emphasis on reading, understanding and writing. Supplemental materials are used to challenge students and inspire them to discover more about Chinese culture. Teachers give weekly homework (max 30 mins) and end-of-topic evaluations before they start the next theme.

Class Schedule1:

All classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Piedmont Community Church. Classes begin September 11, 2018 and end May 25, 2019.  All holidays follow the Piedmont Unified School District calendar. The student to teacher ratio will not exceed 12 to 1.

  • Kindergartner and Early 1st  Graders: 2:10 to 3:10 p.m.
  • Kindergarten through 6th Grade: 3:25 to 4:25 p.m

To register, click here. All registrations after July 1 are first come/first serve. We now offer payment through PayPal (plus a $15 per student fee for the cost of PayPal) or you can continue to send a check to PLS, c/o PEF, 401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.


$615.00 per semester plus (annual) $100 textbook and supplemental materials fee.

A 10% discount will be given to 2nd sibling or second language. A $50 discount if registered before June 15, 2018.

PLS would like to make language learning available to as many students as possible. Please contact us about scholarships if we can help make language study more accessible to your family.

Contact Us:

If you have any questions, please contact us at or call (510) 652-5229.

1. All classes subject to cancellation due to low enrollment or classroom availability.
2. A $50 late fee will be charged if tuition is not paid by September 13, 2018.