Maryknoll’s Chinese Immersion Program prepares students to be global citizens

Global Opportunities & Chinese Immersion at Maryknoll School

Preparing Hawaii’s keiki for a future of success is a key proponent of the education programs at Maryknoll School. In particular, the Chinese Immersion Program and International Programs for K-12 teach students to be global citizens. Host Kanoe Gibson was invited to visit the school kindergarten and first grade classes to see the program in action.

Maryknoll School – Chinese Immersion Program
Immersion classes offer numerous benefits that go far beyond learning another language. Immersion increases standardized test scores and critical thinking across all subjects, students in immersion programs achieve the same, or higher, academic results than students in traditional, English-only school programs and students who participate in immersion for 5-7 years achieve the most benefits, including: reading acquisition, problem solving skills, increased attention and better memory, and greater tolerance and cultural sensitivity.

One such class is the Mandarin Chinese immersion program. Maryknoll is preparing students for the global marketplace and future academic and career success. Maryknoll recognizes the growing role of China in an increasingly globalized economy and as one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, the school is focused on encouraging students to learn Chinese. Before launching the Chinese Immersion Program, Maryknoll was already the first school in Hawaii to teach Mandarin in all kindergarten through 8th grade classes. Maryknoll has also been fostering sister school relationships in China for many years.

The Chinese Immersion Program is an option that parents can choose if their child is entering Maryknoll in kindergarten or first grade. The school also offers traditional English language kindergarten and first grade. Students in both programs learn the same curriculum and are integrated as one ohana in school activities, P.E., Mass and community service. For Maryknoll Chinese Immersion students, 50% of the day is taught in Mandarin and the other 50% is taught in English. Students learn core subjects like science and math in Chinese. Learning is reinforced across both languages by Chinese-speaking teachers and English-speaking teachers who work closely together. As students apply English and Chinese to everyday activities and lessons, they learn both languages.

Maryknoll School K-12 Open House is on Sunday, November 4, 2018. Tours are offered between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and there’s an informational presentation at 2 p.m. Families can apply online at or through the Ravenna online application.

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