Piedmont Language School Mandarin Program

The Piedmont Language School Mandarin Program is designed to help students enjoy learning Mandarin through social interaction, hands-on projects and creative thematic teaching. We believe that learning about Chinese culture is a significant component of language learning and we encourage our students to experience Chinese culture through songs, stories and the celebration of key Chinese holidays in the classrooms across all levels.

Our Introduction to Mandarin class is for absolute beginners and our youngest students (pre-K to 2nd grade). The Introduction class lays a strong foundation for learning at the higher levels. A textbook is not used at this level. Our teachers teach 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. Students in the Introduction class begin to put together basic sentences using the words they have learned.

Level 1 builds upon the themes in our Introduction class by revisiting the themes, but with greater vocabulary and more varied sentence structures. We use a textbook with fun dialogue and colorful pictures. Our aim is to reinforce understanding of what the students have already learned, and to give them the confidence and ability to apply the language to daily life. Our focus at Level 1 is on listening and speaking Mandarin, although students are introduced to the basic strokes and sequence of Chinese characters to prepare them for writing. There is some exposure to Hanyu Pinyin although the Pinyin is not formally introduced at this level.

Level 2 continues to explore themes from daily life using the next level textbook from the same series. Students continue to learn strokes and components of Chinese characters to develop their writing skills. More importantly, seeing Chinese characters as structures made up of strokes and components helps students to recognize and remember Chinese characters. The Pinyin system with its four tones is formally taught at this level, enabling students to pronounce/read more complex Chinese characters. At level 2, students begin to tell their own stories from pictures in Mandarin using vocabulary and sentence structures they have learned.

Level 3/ Level 4 examines other themes that are of interest to young learners. Extra-Curricular Activities is one example. The textbook for these two levels come from the same series as before and continues to use dialogue between children or parent and child to discuss the themes. For example, the conversation in the lesson on Extra-Curricular Activities has three children sharing their activities and why they like or dislike these activities. At both these levels, there is greater emphasis on reading, understanding and writing. Supplemental readers are used at this level to challenge our students and inspire them to discover more about Chinese culture.

Class Schedule1:

All classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Piedmont Community Church. Classes begin September 12, 2016 and end May 26, 2017.  All holidays follow the Piedmont Unified School District calendar. The student to teacher ratio will not exceed 12 to 1.

  • PM Kindergarten and Pre-School class: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • AM Kindergartner, Pre-School and Early 1st  Graders: 2:10 to 3:10 p.m.
  • PM Kindergarten through 6th Grade: 3:25 to 4:25 p.m

To register, click here. All registrations after June 10th are first come/first serve. We now offer payment through PayPal or you can continue to send a check to PLS, P.O. Box 11092, Piedmont, CA 94611. There is a $15 fee per student for the convenience of PayPal.


Intro, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3: $525/semester or $1050/year2.  This includes textbook and all supplemental materials.

A 10% discount will be given to 2nd sibling or second language. A $50 discount if registered before May 31, 2016.

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 12, 2016.