​ACADEMICS
Beginning with 90% Immersion creates a Linguistic Environment - Moves to 50%

 

Chinese and English use different sides of the brain, setting up tremendous brain interface. A 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study concluded, “It is nearly impossible to achieve proficiency… of a native speaker unless you start by 10,”  Immersion has a very time critical element. The window to acquire language begins to close at around 4 to 6 years of age, and this window is only open once in a lifetime.

 

Our utmost priority is learning.  Knowledge is not dependent on speaking a language.  Students who are English Learners will receive English support.  Research is clear that exposing children to a second language at an early age stimulates the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.[1]  Students who are competent in more than one language consistently outscore monolinguals on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence, suggesting that immersion students have greater cognitive flexibility.[2]  Furthermore, studies have shown there are specific benefits for learning a second language:[3]

 

  1. The ability to shift easily between symbol systems, such as mathematics and literacy

  2. Higher performance on divergent thinking tasks indicating greater ability to solve problems in creative ways

  3. Meta-linguistic awareness, which includes phonemic awareness, awareness of language as a tool to communicate, and the understanding that words are arbitrary symbols

  4. Improved overall school performance and superior problem-solving skills

  5. Higher scores on standardized tests, including the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which shows that students who had studied a foreign language, for four or more years, outscored other students on the verbal and mathematics portions of the test

  6. Students skilled in a second language, learn other languages more quickly

 

[1] Tucker, G. R. (1999). A Global Perspective on Bilingualism and Bilingual Education:

[2] Bruck, M., Lambert, W.E., Tucker, R. (1974), Bilingual Schooling through the Elementary Grades: the St. Lambert Project at Grade Seven. Language Learning 24. No. 2:183-204.

[3] Met, Myriam, “Improving Students’ Capacity in Foreign Languages,” Phi Delta Kappan, November 2004.

Mandarin is unrelated, written or tonally, from English.  Mandarin is a 5,000-year-old Pictionary language, whereas English and Spanish have their roots in Latin, the Romance languages, and phonic spelling.  Chinese registers on a different side of the brain (artistic).  Americans’ experience of learning Spanish doesn’t relate. The US State Department says it takes 3 times as long to learn Mandarin for their employees.

 

Here is our timetable of percentages for Mandarin/English:

90:10 TK, Kindergarten, and First grade

80:20 Second grade

70:30 Third grade

60:40 Fourth grade

50:50 Fifth grade then,

30:70 for Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth

 

Curriculum (partial list)

 

Better Chinese (Chinese)

Singapore Mathematics (Chinese)

Step Up to Writing (English)

Saxon Phonics and Spelling (English)

iChineseReader 3.0 (2,000 e-books)

Code.org

Houghton Mifflin

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Scott, PhD

Executive Director,

 

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© 2018 by Irvine International Academy

One-to-One & Positive Peer Pressure

The One-to-One Classroom™ partners students so they have full access to nonverbal cues, SAFE opportunity for discussion, questioning, and constant ability to provide feedback, support, and correction. It promotes Bloom’s higher-level thinking.