Our unique Chinese Immersion Program
Concordian International School (CIS) is uniquely positioned to equip young learners for the English-Chinese global highway. CIS is the only school authorized by the International Baccalaureate to offer English-Chinese immersion in the primary years. An immersion approach helps to develop language proficiency as well as intercultural awareness, critical thinking and problem solving.
Teaching Approach and Goals
How many of us have been in a foreign language situation spending hours memorizing vocabulary, tenses and patterns, only to feel incapable of stringing together a single sentence? Children at Concordian International School work collaboratively with teachers and classmates to develop skills in all aspects of the Chinese language. Instead of learning in isolation and memorizing from textbooks, students use language for authentic purposes and demonstrate their knowledge and skills through project-based tasks.
Children learn best when they have fun and take ownership of their learning. Through enjoyable activities such as brush calligraphy, cooking, Kung Fu, and celebrating Chinese festivals, CIS students naturally acquire Chinese as a second language through meaningful interaction and communication.
CIS has a very high concentration of teaching staff. Close collaboration between English and Chinese teachers enables students to experience and investigate core subjects in two or more languages. Aside from potentially increasing a child’s intelligence, as research has shown, learning multiple languages greatly promotes positive attitudes and understanding of other countries’ values and customs.
The Chinese learning community at Concordian International School is a reflection of the way the world is turning. It is no longer enough just to speak or understand another language. Concordian’s English-Chinese learners are well-rounded students who are active inquirers, thinkers, communicators and thoughtful contributors to their local communities and the larger world.
Concordian International School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), The Council of International Schools (CIS) and the European Council of International Schools. CIS is an authorized International Baccalaureate school for the primary years program (PYP), middle years program (MYP) and Diploma program (DP).
Guiding Principles for Learning Chinese
Listen and Speak More
Spend time tuning your ears to the sounds and rhythms of Chinese – on the radio, TV, movies, and chatting with native speakers in your neighborhood. Grab every opportunity to speak Chinese as this will continually enrich and reinforce your language skills.
Recognize characters effectively
The key is to understand how Chinese characters are constructed. Many characters have elements in common, related to either meaning or pronunciation. Use meaningful components to help remember new characters, and you will write accurately and recognize words effectively.
Write characters effectively
It is important to have strategies when practicing. Instead of writing a character over and over again, a more effective way to remember is breaking the character into smaller, meaningful components. Write the word or phrase a few times and follow on by making a sentence.
Develop the habit of reading in Chinese
Reading Chinese means understanding by looking at the characters, so try to read without Pinyin or Romanized phonetic guides. It is recommended to read out loud for 15 minutes a day to improve the fluency of reading, not to mention vocabulary and sentence structure.
Last but not least, open yourself up to enjoy the endless nuances and charms of the Chinese language and explore the amazing wealth of culture and history that comes with it.