Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy


Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy
San Diego, California
Serves students in grades K-5

Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy, located in beautiful San Diego, California, is the only public school in the San Diego Unified School District that offers Mandarin immersion. In 2007, the school started a Mandarin FLES class. In 2010, the school launched a Mandarin immersion program for students in kindergarten and grade 1.

In kindergarten, 80% of the Mandarin instruction is taught by a native Chinese teacher, who teaches Chinese literacy, math, social studies, science, music, and art. English instruction (20% of instruction time) is taught by a native English teacher and focuses on English language arts. From grades 1-5, the program follows a 50% Mandarin and 50% English model. In addition to language arts, the partner teachers have shared responsibilities for teaching math, social studies, science, music, and art in their specific language.

The mission of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy is that students will develop the ability to successfully use their knowledge of diverse cultures and languages to think and act globally and become thoughtful, responsible, and successful global citizens. The blending of a world language program with a challenging and well-rounded English program will enable Barnard students to face and triumph over the challenges of the 21st century.

Since 2010, Barnard has established internship programs with major universities in Taiwan. Students majoring in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language join the Barnard teaching team as interns. Both teachers and students benefit greatly from the strong collaboration. Barnard also partners with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Every year, guest teachers from the Confucius Institute join Barnard to teach and conduct research on learning outcomes.

Barnard is actively working with Pacific Beach Middle School and Mission Bay High School to establish a pipeline for the Mandarin immersion students. Both schools have the International Baccalaureate program. Collaboration with these schools offers students the opportunity to continue learning in a high-quality language program throughout their K-12 education.

In addition, Barnard has sister schools in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Student exchange programs with sister schools allow students to apply what they have learned in school to real-life situations.

Highlights of Barnard include the following:

  • Challenging and rigorous academic curriculum and assessment
  • Technology-equipped classrooms
  • Rich teaching resources from Taiwan and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University
  • Academic and cultural exchange with students of sister schools in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea
  • A variety of culturally rich after-school programs
  • Peninsula Family YMCA Child Development Program

To learn more about the school, visit the web site at or contact Qiuyu Julie Li, Program Coordinator at, or 858-800-5700, and Bonita Sobieck, Executive Administrative Assistant at, or 858-800-5700.


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