Twice weekly, a group of 15 kindergarten through second-grade students at Purple Sage Elementary School can be found reciting Mandarin Chinese words, dancing to Chinese songs and playing games together as part of the school’s opt-in language enrichment program.

The Mandarin Chinese enrichment classes have been introduced as part of the Round Rock ISD Strategic Plan and is funded through the District’s State and Federal Programs department. The classes align with Goal 1 of the Strategic Plan, which states “we will implement, enhance and support innovative teaching and learning models.”

The classes are taught by Round Rock ISD Parent Community Specialist Sophia Chin, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

“The world around us is very global and Mandarin Chinese is the third most spoken language in Round Rock ISD,” Chin said. “We only meet two times a week so as long as they’re engaged, they pick it up really quickly.”

Chin introduces a new concept each class, then plays games, either with partners or in a group singing songs, to reinforce it.

“Purple Sage is excited to expose our students to a new language,” said Mark Pratz, Purple Sage interim principal. “The introduction of Mandarin Chinese enrichment classes has already created interest in the language, which we hope will be sustained in the coming years.”

Chin also teaches Mandarin Chinese enrichment classes at England Elementary School.