Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the nation, with an estimated population of 32,000 people. Some young Somalis find they even have a language gap with their own parents who can’t speak English.
Some Minnesota kindergartners are about to complete their first year of school, and they did it all in Chinese. At the start of the school year, WCCO visited the first class of students in the new Mandarin immersion program at Benjamin Mays Magnet in St. Paul.
In many ways, a kindergarten class at Benjamin Mays Magnet Elementary in St. Paul is like any other; they sing songs, learn numbers, and tell stories. The big difference is that the students are learning everything in Mandarin Chinese.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is weighing in on whether or not the state should make English its “official” language.