Preschool Chinese is to pique the burning curiosity of the four’s and five’s year-old. This is the stage where children develop their emerging academic skills such as learning to speak in class, learn how to raise one’s hand in class and how to get in a line and follow rules of a classroom. Children at this stage exercise more control of their bodies and can sit in class to learn. Our curriculum in singing and learning simple Chinese words employ many TPR (Total Physical Response) gestures that children naturally are drawn to. When we teach Chinese words, we usually teach a song that has a related theme or use the same words they just learn so children see the direct application of words and action, thus can grasp the meaning of the new words they learn very quickly. Whenever we can, we use authentic materials to teach. Our students “learn by doing”. You will be surprised how much Chinese young children pick up in a short time.
Chinese 1 is the continuation of preschool Chinese for those children who started learning Chinese at our preschool program. For many children, this may be their first time learning Chinese and this may be their first Chinese class. This class is very consistent with children’s development; we employ songs and games to build their foundation to learn Chinese where remembering certain characters are essential. We do not “make” students memorize characters or vocabulary but they will want to memorize characters because of the fun games we employ to reinforce mastery of this skill. Even for those students who do not like to use their memory, they will find it very motivating to use the part of the brain they least like to use because of the fun games we use in the reinforcement games. We are masters in inspiring students to learn!
Chinese 1.5 is the pre-class for Chinese 2 class. Usually students at this level have already acquired or developed a sound foundation of the Chinese language. They should have taken Chinese 1 or they have progressed from Chinese 1. Students in this class usually ready to move to the next level. In this class, the teacher uses a lot of classroom commands in Chinese. Students learn to listen to lessons taught in Chinese. Their listening comprehension improves in this class and can usually converse in simple Chinese by the end of this level. Their conversational and listening Chinese will become second natured.
In Chinese 2, students will continue to improve in their listening comprehension in Chinese. They learn pinyin (the Chinese pronunciation system with English letters) and learn to read texts in Chinese. Some of the topics include in this class are tongue twisters, poems and Chinese idioms. Student practice a lot of Chinese conversations in this class.
After students completed Chinese 2, they can go on to Chinese 3. In addition to keep learning new vocabulary, their usage, reading, and composing sentences, this class begins to teach student Chinese idioms, 成语。 Students will explore the use of Chinese idioms through stories and learn their origins.
After students completed Chinese 3, they can go on to Chinese 4. Not only will students learn everything included in Chinese 3, they will learn critical thinking skill through a cultural project the instructor directs. Students also will be matched to a pen pal in China . where they will exchange letters or email with instructor’s guidance and assistance.