WEST COVINA, CA – Yuyan Chen, a native Mandarin speaker from China’s Sichuan Province, will take the reins of Orangewood Elementary School’s Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program when the new class debuts on Aug. 15.
Chen, who was introduced to parents, students and colleagues during an Aug. 5 meet and greet, will lead the program using a 50:50 model, employing both English and Mandarin 50 percent of the time throughout the instructional day.
The program will also use Simplified Chinese characters, allowing alignment with West Covina’s middle and high school Mandarin programs.
“I am honored to be part of the West Covina Unified family and am so excited to help Orangewood begin their Mandarin program,” Chen said. “What impresses me about West Covina is the diversity. There are so many children from so many backgrounds. This helped me make up my mind that I wanted to teach here.”
Chen began studying English, which is a compulsory subject in China, in middle school. After completing her college entrance exam, Chen pursued an English major at Hainan Normal University. Upon graduation, Chen taught Mandarin in South Korea for two years.
“I wanted to come to America so that I could use my English speaking skills,” Chen said. “And I also wanted to attend a prestigious American university.”
Chen moved to southern California in 2015, enrolled at USC and acquired a master’s degree in education a year later. This gave Chen the option to teach English as a Second Language.
In 2017, Chen enrolled in Cal State Long Beach’s Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program, graduating in December 2018. Chen was hired by West Covina Unified in July.
“We are delighted to announce Yuyan Chen as our primary years Mandarin teacher,” WCUSD Superintendent Dr. Charles D. Hinman said. “Her passion and enthusiasm for teaching very much impressed us, and we feel she is a great fit for our Dual Language Immersion program and our District.”
WCUSD_DLI_CHEN: Yuyan Chen, a native Mandarin speaker from China’s Sichuan Province, will lead Orangewood Elementary School’s Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program when it begins Aug. 15.