PHOENIX - If Spanish is considered, by some, to be the language of the Gods, then Mandarin may very well be the language of the future.
At Arizona Language Preparatory, in Northeast Phoenix, students are taught both Spanish and Mandarin alongside English.
Arizona Language Preparatory is a charter school with the aim of helping their students achieve their fullest potential through an immersion in a trilingual education.
“It's very important because there is more facility for them to become successful in what they choose to learn,” said Maria Trinidad Clark, a Spanish teacher at Arizona Language Prep.
Students took a field trip to China last year to help them become more fluid in Mandarin. This year, the children will visit Hermosillo, Mexico, to work on their Spanish in a natural environment.
"There's a lot of scientific evidence out there that learning a different language also enhances your learning in other areas,” Michael Girety, a parent with three children in the school, said. “It's kind of funny because when we decided to put the kids in this kind of program, I worried that their English would suffer, but they've taken state testing, and all of that, and their state testing scores exceeded the average, despite the fact that they spend a majority of their time learning other languages.”