Mandarin Immersion Curriculum
Kindergarten and 1st Grade:
The instructional focus is on listening. The teacher conducts all instruction and conversational dialogue in Mandarin. The special tones and enunciation of Mandarin is emphasized in these early years of language learning.
Reading and writing of Chinese characters are taught in a developmentally appropriate limited time frame. We teach the simplified characters and begin with a focus on the radicals and understanding the origin of the character’s pictorial form. Students enjoy the drawing and artistic nature of writing. Stroke order and stroke names are taught to instill correct formation and importance of the stroke order.
Students gain experience learning the target language in a natural way while they are in the early years of critical language development for hearing the sounds, tones, and particular enunciation specifics of the language. The immersion program gives children the invaluable experience of learning about the culture of the language in a natural setting with native speakers.
2nd and 3rd Grade:
The instruction on Mandarin language production increases with an emphasis and developing more complex vocabulary with fluent and correct pronunciation. Students read and write paragraphs and shorts essays in both languages. By grade 3, students learn eight new characters a week that are used in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In grade 3, Pinyin is introduced.
4th and 5th Grade:
By fourth and fifth grades, students will refine their oral language fluency by participating in classroom plays, reciting poetry and school wide performances. Students craft both narrative and informational pieces of writing in Chinese and English with descriptive language that is rich in culture and content. Students continue to develop rich, high level content language in the areas of science and social studies.
6th-8th Grade Curriculum:
Students in middle school continue to learn language and literacy in a Mandarin Immersion environment where social study and culture are being taught as the subject contents. They also learn how to take more responsibilities, explore their aspirations, understand cross-culture aspects, develop independence and develop a sense of risk-taking.
By the end of middle school, students will become more literacy independent and be able to communicate more naturally and culturally appropriate in real-world situations. These language skills include interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication. In the class, students participate in whole group instructions to practice their literacy skills and strategies, and they learn reading and writing in small groups, where they can improve their skills based on their personal needs. Through the units of study, fun and authentic learning activities and projects are designed to accommodate students' learning styles or preferences, inspiring critical thinking, providing opportunities for students to research and solving problems.