In our bilingual programme, students attend classes in English one day, and in Chinese the next, ensuring equal exposure to both languages. Additional Chinese language acquisition classes are taught five times each week by separate native speaking teachers with students grouped according to their proficiency levels. During all classes, a strong focus is placed on integrating culture as research demonstrates that speaking a language without understanding its culture has very little real-world value.
There is no limit to the number of classes available per grade (we currently have 26 bilingual classes) and a specific pathway has been designed for students to maintain their Chinese at a high level after Grade 5. From Grade 2 onwards, students must meet the specific language requirements to enter the programme.
For all Chinese lessons, our teachers use the highly respected Big Apple Programme, a collection of 130 reference books written by our Head of Chinese, Huali Xiong. Students’ progress is evaluated with an informal assessment at the end of each Unit of Inquiry (UOI) and two external examinations - the ACTFL assessment on performance toward proficiency in languages (AAPPL) and the HSK Centre’s Youth Chinese Test (YCT) . Our students’ latest results in the May 2016 YCT demonstrate that we have some of the best performing students on the island.