Mandarin Teacher Leadership Institute (MTLI)


To ensure that K-12 Mandarin language and culture programs prosper and students gain the needed proficiency to use the language in real world situations, California needs well-qualified language teachers in its classrooms. The UCLA Mandarin Teacher Leadership Institute (MTLI) seeks to provide Mandarin teachers with the necessary tools to become master teachers of language and culture, and the skills to serve as leaders in Mandarin teaching in the K-12 community.


With the adoption of World Language Content Standards in 2009, California established a framework for K-12 language education. The state standards ask teachers to address specific linguistic functions, culture, and content in order to prepare students to use language in real-world settings. Using a standards-based approach, teachers identify language, culture, and content in authentic materials, make materials comprehensible through use of the target language, and provide opportunities for students to carry out interpersonal and presentational communicative tasks.

Institute Goals

  • Participants will emerge from the program with an understanding of standards-based instruction delivered by framework-aligned practices.
  • Gain an understanding of California's rich Chinese culture and history, and the related local resources that can be used in the classroom. Participants will also receive training in Mandarin-specific pedagogies.
  • The program will culminate with a one-day conference in which MTLI participants design and lead training sessions for their K-12 teaching peers.

Training will be provided by faculty from the California Foreign Language Project, UCLA's Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and the UCLA School of Education.

Application Process

All applicants are required to complete an online application form.

Admission to the program is by invitation. Selection will be based on a number of factors including teaching experience, background, professional reference, online application, as well as geographic distribution. A goal of our program is to produce a cohort of trained teacher leaders who will be able to serve as language teaching mentors in diverse parts of our region.

Program Cost 

The total cost of the program, including tuition, fees, and lunch is $795.00. 


Scholarship support is available through the UCLA Confucius Institute for full-time K-12 and college-level teachers and graduate students. Those needing scholarship support should indicate this on the online application form, and also send an email to: with the subject line: MTLI Scholarship Request.  In the email please describe your background and training, and the need for scholarship support.  Please know that those who receive scholarship support are expected to attend all class meetings.  Scholarship recipients will be charged for any sessions not attended. The deadline to apply for scholarship support is December 1st.