The World Languages Department’s philosophy reflects the core values of the school’s Mission and Vision. The program serves the learning needs of students from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We strive to educate and inspire all students to become effective communicators and global citizens in the 21st century.
From PK to grade 12, the program values:
- the acquisition of an additional language while maintaining a home language and cultural heritage
- instruction that is aligned to standards
- individualized learning opportunities for addressing diverse learning needs
- multi-literacy skills for communication, study, work, and leisure pursuits in a variety of authentic contexts
- contributions to local and global communities
- lifelong interest in and enjoyment of language learning and literature
We believe that students learn a language best when they:
- are provided with opportunities to integrate their learning with other subject areas
- engage in a broad range of experiences to learn from historical, social, and cultural perspectives
- utilize 21st century skills as they develop their linguistic and cultural competencies
- apply language skills to authentic tasks
- connect and engage meaningfully with local and global communities through their own lenses
To serve the needs of our diverse student population, the Chinese Department offers a three-pathway program which consists of the Chinese as an Additional Language Pathway, the Advanced Chinese Pathway, and the Chinese Language and Literature Pathway. Students are placed in the pathway appropriate to their language backgrounds, abilities, and needs. Below is a description of the learner’s linguistic profile for each pathway:
- The Chinese as an Additional Language Pathway (CAL) caters to students learning Chinese as a second or additional language, who have no prior or little exposure to Chinese language and culture; who have no or little prior literacy development; who have just begun to use Chinese in their immediate surroundings, or on topics of general interest. Students who have successfully completed this pathway in grade 10 are expected to continue to IB B SL in grade 11-12. The goal of this pathway is to enable students to meet their social needs and to function in the Chinese-speaking workplace.
- The Advanced Chinese Pathway (AC) caters to students who have exposure to Chinese language and culture; who may engage in active but predominantly receptive use of Chinese at home; who may have some formal Chinese learning experience in the past; whose mother tongue language is linguistically close to Mandarin (Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, etc.); who may be a fluent speaker in daily interactions but have minimal literacy skills. Students who have successfully completed this pathway in grade 10 are expected to continue to IB B HL or AP Chinese Language and Culture in grade 11-12. The goal of this pathway is to enable students to communicate effectively and culturally appropriately in the Chinese-speaking world in all language modes.
- The Chinese Language and Literature Pathway (CLL) caters to students who have had their primary socialization as well as initial literacy development or primary schooling in Chinese; who use Chinese at home and in some formal settings; who are fluent speakers and have strong foundation in reading and writing; who are interested at studying Chinese literature, both classic and modern works. Students who have successfully completed this pathway in grade 10 are expected to continue to IB Language A or Special Topics in Chinese Studies course in grade 11-12. The goal of this pathway is for students to develop literacy and an appreciation of both classic and modern literary works in Chinese.