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About the Program

The English-Chinese Bilingual Program provides the opportunity for any students within the Edmonton Public School system to learn both the English and Chinese languages and to share knowledge of the Chinese culture within the context of the Alberta curriculum.

This program is unique in North America, both because it is a complete continuum of studies from kindergarten to high school graduation, and it is accomplished all during regular school hours.

A Brief History

In 1982, an experimental English-Chinese language program was introduced at the kindergarten level in Edmonton Public Schools. The success of this initiative led to the formal establishment of the English-Chinese Bilingual Program in 1983. Each subsequent year led to the establishment of a higher grade (Grades 1 to 6).

The Chinese Language Arts component was approved by the Edmonton Public School Board in January 1989 to the Junior High level (Grades 7 to 9).

In February 1992, Senior High levels (Grades 10 to 12) satisfying International Baccalaureate (I.B.) standards for Mandarin were approved. The lead class graduated from high school in 1995.

From a start of 33 kindergarten students in 1982, the program has grown to around 1800 students (Kindergarten to Grade 12) today!

Why place children in the English-Chinese bilingual program?

The English-Chinese Bilingual Program exposes children to the richness of both western and eastern cultures, their literature, customs, festivals and heritage.

English and Chinese are the two most commonly spoken languages in the world. The ability to communicate in more than one language is a valuable asset for future career development, especially in education, business, commerce, foreign and governmental affairs.

Who can enroll?

Kindergarten and Grade 1 Level: The English-Chinese Bilingual Program is available to all children at the kindergarten and Grade 1 levels. They are not required to have any knowledge of the Chinese language. Children are eligible for kindergarten this fall (September) if they will be 5 years old on or before March 1st of the following year.

Elementary Level (Grades 2 to 6): Placement in Grades 2 to 6 is determined after an individual assessment of language skills.

Junior High Level (Grades 7 to 9): Graduates from Grade 6 are welcome to continue their Chinese studies by selecting the Chinese Language Arts option as one of their Junior High subjects.

Senior High Level (Grades 10 to 12): Graduates from Grade 9 Chinese Language Arts are welcome to continue their Chinese studies by selecting Mandarin for credit in high school. International Baccalaureate (I.B.) certificates are granted upon successful completion at participating schools.

Other students with competent Chinese language skills are asked to contact the school of their choice for an assessment to determine appropriate placement in the Chinese Bilingual / Chinese Language Arts continuum.

What are the benefits of studying a second language?

  1. Cultural awareness can best be learned through exposure to a second language
  2. Opportunities to read and enjoy the literature of other countries
  3. More sources from which to gain valuable information and insights
  4. Improved communication skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  5. Comprehension skills are more easily mastered
  6. Creative thinking is enhanced in second language students
  7. An experience that will make learning other languages even easier

About the Association

The Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association (ECBEA) is registered under the Societies Act of Alberta. It is also registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization.

The ECBEA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of volunteers dedicated to promoting the learning and understanding of the Chinese language.

Membership in the ECBEA is comprised strictly of parents with children enrolled in the English-Chinese Bilingual / Chinese Language Arts continuum in the Edmonton Public School system.

The purpose of the ECBEA is to:

  • promote the learning and understanding of Chinese language and culture;
  • assist in establishing new programs and expansion of the English-Chinese Bilingual / Chinese Language Arts continuum of studies;
  • coordinate student recruitment campaigns;
  • serve as a collective voice on behalf of parent members;
  • liaison with Edmonton Public Schools on all matters pertaining to Chinese bilingual education;
  • promote Chinese language education through available public media; and,
  • provide volunteer support where required.

In short, the primary purpose of the Association is to promote and ensure the long-term success of the English-Chinese Bilingual / Chinese Language Arts continuum.

The Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association was nominated by Edmonton Public Schools for a District Team Service Award in 1997... "to recognize the ongoing service contributions made to the district by a group of parents and community members...focus is on cooperation, participation and excellence in performance by a team or group. Achievement or contribution has brought distinction to the district and the group."

Please mail your donations to:
Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association
Box 220, #21-10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 3S2

An official receipt for income tax purposes will be issued to you. Thank you.