Episode 13: A look at a Spanish-English dual language school and how it incorporates Mandarin

Episode 13


On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Liza Sánchez, mother to four multilingual daughters and founder of Escuela Bilingüe Internacional (EBI), the first independent school in California to offer Spanish-English dual language programs.  EBI is a pre-kinder through 8th grade dual language school with classes in Mandarin starting in the 3rd grade.

Episode #13 Quick Guide

On episode, Liza discusses with us:

  • Her fascination with languages and how her family has worked to maintain her three family languages Spanish, German and English;
  • How languages are managed in her home: her husband speaks exclusively in Spanish while Liza spoke Spanish to their four daughters at first and then gradually changed to English once they began Kindergarten;
  • Her inspiration for founding Escuela Bilingüe Internacional;
  • EBI’s language philosophy
    • Pre-Kinder: All instructions is conducted in Spanish ;
    • Kindergarten through First Grade: One hour of English instruction and the rest of the day is conducted in Spanish;
    • Second Grade: Two hours of English instruction and the rest of the day is conducted in Spanish;
    • Third Grade: Half of the instruction is English while the other half is in Spanish. Mandarin classes also begin at this time;
    • The language expectations based on when they enroll in the school;
  • How the school selected Mandarin as the third language and why it is introduced in 3rd grade;
  • The acquisition level achieved in Mandarin by the students;
  • How parental engagement is managed especially for the parents who do not speak both languages;
  • Resources on how to find language schools in your community in the United States.

Summary of Resources Liza provided:


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