This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend the Burnaby Board of Education meeting.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Forest Grove Elementary had a program put in place to give primary age children a chance to learn Mandarin in school.
Language acquisition has been proven to be easier the younger a person happens to be when starting to learn the language.
I understand the importance of maintaining our historical languages of English and French, but especially in the Lower Mainland, Mandarin is an important language and spoken by many people. It makes sense for our students to start learning the language at a young age.
Congratulations to the Burnaby board of education for taking on this pilot project.
I hope as time and funding allows, the program is expanded to more elementary schools and serves as a compliment to the French language program, not as a competitor to it.
Trevor Ritchie, Burnaby