Chinese (Mandarin) instruction begins in 3rd grade for all students (30 minutes daily). In Secondary School, students choose between Chinese and Latin. Most students elect to continue Chinese (3 periods per week). The School’s aim is to enable students to communicate and share with Chinese friends, to open a window on Asian civilizations and to be in a position to study, live and work in China if they wish. As is the case with English, our program is based on immersion and the acquisition of vocabulary and expressions used by Chinese students of the same age.
Teaching Chinese in Primary School yields important side benefits: Chinese sounds often differ markedly from western sounds and enhance auditory discrimination; learning to recognize Chinese characters develops visual memory and writing them exercises small motor coordination. Student progress in Chinese is monitored using Hanban (Confucius Institute) official certifications: YCT and HSK. Our goal is to have 12th grade students obtain the HSK4.