Nick Jr. (tv network)

Howard elementary schools offer lessons in Chinese, Spanish

When you enter Julie Chang's world languages class at Waverly Elementary School in Ellicott City, you leave English at the door. Then, if you know the answer to a question and are told to "qing ju shou," you raise your hand. If you're told, "bu shou hua," then you must keep quiet. And if someone asks about the weather and it's sunny outside, you say, "yin tian."

Chang teaches Chinese, one of two languages offered in the Howard County school system's world languages pilot, which is in its second year at Laurel Woods and Waverly elementary schools. Students in every grade take one semester of Chinese and one of Spanish during...