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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Winning Startup of the Week: Bambini Dual Language Schools


My husband and I went to Beijing, China in 2004. It was a fascinating vacation, my favorite destination so far in life. I remember there being tons of cars on the road and I was glad to have a driver. I recently heard there are a thousand new cars on the road every day there, so I can’t imagine what that must be like now. I’m really enjoying the Olympics, along with the rest of the world, seeing how the city is developing.


I’ve become a Jimmy Rogers buff, he’s a financial guru who has traveled the world and realized China is where the growth is, long before almost everyone else did. He’s teaching his daughter Mandarin Chinese, and actually has a place in Shanghai, I believe. Anyway, I decided after visiting China and listening to Jimmy Rogers that I want my kids to learn Mandarin Chinese language.


I’ve heard the earlier you start to teach kids a different language, the better, so I researched several places in my area to have my kids learn Mandarin, but Mandarin tutors are few and far between. Guess I’m too “cutting edge” in my thinking.


I recently learned of a preschool opening this month in Glendale, Arizona, where teachers speak English part of the day and Mandarin the other part of the day. It’s called Bambini School, and they already have submitted plans to open a second school in Scottsdale this year or early next, and would also like to open three other locations in Paradise Valley, Gilbert, and Chandler.


“I want to give children an advantage in the global economy,” says the founder Sean Diana, who is a former Paradise Valley dual language teacher and is currently also working on his doctorate in bilingual education. Diana has also worked to coordinate after school dual language programs with several schools in the Phoenix area.


Diana got the idea for the school when his son was born. He wanted to help him learn the language to give him an advantage in the world, and he felt others would also like to learn another language. While learning a language takes longer than the year or two of preschool, it does create a foundation for language development. However, if that education doesn’t continue, kids lose what they have learned fairly quickly. Therefore, Diana is also writing a proposal for a kindergarten through sixth grade charter school, which he hopes to open for the 2009-10 school year.


I think this business has huge potential, especially with the excitement of the Olympics, and lots of parents will be wanting their kids to learn the language. What do you think?

2 comments:

Theresa said...

Mandarin? I would consider teaching them French instead.

momtoLeLe said...

The teach Spanish as well as Mandarine and there is a French tutor who comes in a couple of days a week. They are also looking for another language to offer in the near future. My daughter has been going there since it opened and we are both very happy with the school.