Chinese is a vital part of the daily curriculum for  all students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn to read, write, listen and speak fluently in Chinese through curriculum tailored for non-native Chinese speakers. Starting in the third grade, students will be placed in different classes according to their Chinese language proficiency. The study of Chinese culture is purposefully integrated into the curriculum to foster "International-Mindness". Teachers maximize using Chinese for majority of the instructional time and employ effective instructional strategies to promote language and literacy development. In the meantime, a wide range of learning experiences through field trips, cultural celebrations, extracurricular activities and China Night are provided  throughout the school year. 

Spoken Chinese

Grades K - 2

Starting in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, our curriculum places emphasis on cultivating students’ basic listening and speaking skills. Songs, nursery rhymes, games and story-telling using the Chinese language are incorporated to help these young students comprehend words and phrases from discrete elements of daily life, simple questions, statements, high-frequency commands, and courtesy responses.  By the end of 2nd grade, students will be able to understand short and some sentence-length statements.  In addition, students will be able to exchange simple spoken communication by using formulaic expressions and key words in highly contextualized situations.

Grades 3 - 5

In 3rd through 5th grades, students will continue improving their listening and speaking skills, along with expanding their vocabulary. Students understand sentence-length statements that consist of words and phrased previously learned and demonstrate a better ability to use sentence structures with accuracy to express more complex features of the language in both oral and written form. Because students may begin formal language learning at various stages of their cognitive development, teachers adjust vocabulary and content to reflect developmentally appropriate interests. Moreover, contemporary and cultural issues will be addressed to develop an awareness of perspectives, practices, and products of the Chinese culture.

Grades 6 - 8

In 6th through 8th grades, the continued development of communicative competence in both oral and written form and attaining deeper understanding of Chinese cultures are the main objectives. Students are able to conduct communicative tasks from predictable, straightforward, and highly familiar everyday contexts to unpredictable, complicated, and unrehearsed life situations. Students will be presented daily with classroom activities that are relevant, engaging and challenge students to be intrinsically motivated to further their study of the Chinese language and culture.

Written Chinese

Learning Chinese characters are often mistakenly considered as an intimidating challenge due to its massive vocabulary and different writing system compared with the Western world. Although the Chinese writing system has distinguished features from English, we strive for engaging our students in an environment where the use of target language (oral or written) is purposefully reinforced through daily instruction. We believe that Chinese written proficiency has to rely on developing a perspective viewing how Chinese characters are presented through an object, sound, or concept. With the development of Chinese written proficiency, students are also given an avenue to appreciate and analyze higher levels of Chinese art, such as calligraphy and painting, in their future studies.

Grades K - 2

The basic Chinese strokes are introduced and practiced in the 1st grade. Once students possess a better understanding of how a Chinese character is constructed in written format, Chinese pictograms (meaning deriving from pictures) will be introduced. We expect students are able to recognize, read and write 50 Chinese characters by the end of 2nd grade.

Grades 3 - 5

In 3rd through 5th grades, the concept of radicals and components of Chinese characters will be initially introduced as a tool to make the process of constructing Chinese characters more meaningful and easier. Students will expand their vocabulary in the following categories: Chinese pictographs, ideogram and compound-ideograph. Students are also able to create formulaic questions and simple statements on familiar topics and materials by using learned vocabulary and structures. Students are expected to recognize, read and be able to write 275 Chinese characters by the end of 5th grade.

Grades 6 - 8

In 6th through 8th grades, the main objectives are the continued development of communicative competence in both oral and written form and attaining a deeper understanding of Chinese cultures. Students will strengthen their reading and writing skills by increasing vocabulary repertoire in various topics related to personal experiences and immediate surroundings, developing advanced grammar facility, exposure to authentic reading and writing materials, and developing oral and written presentational skills. Students are expected to recognize, read and be able to write 500 Chinese characters by the end of 8th grade.

For more information regarding Wesley Chinese curriculum map, please visit here.

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