How does our Chinese immersion model work?
Immersion is the best way to learn a new language. Children learn language best by experiencing it naturally, by being immersed in it. At A&D Stars this is achieved through the following efforts:
1. At A&D Stars, teachers are vocally responsive to children’s activities and will speak to them in Chinese for a good 80% of their day. We greet the children in Chinese, describe and demonstrate activities in Chinese, and provide instruction in Chinese. The continuous hours of being immersed in the language helps children absorb it naturally through trying to figure out what the teacher is saying and repeating what the teachers are saying and doing. As children speak to teachers in English, teachers will provide the Mandarin expressions and encourage children to repeat back in Mandarin as well. Over time children naturally switch to speaking in the new language: when they have mastered the Mandarin vocabulary needed to express their needs and thoughts, they naturally want to use their new, exciting language!
2. At A&D Stars, language is provided in a real-life context and through hands-on experience. Our classroom abounds with materials that are engaging and inspire exploration in the various centers (science, writing, library, dramatic play, music & art, sensory, blocks, math and manipulatives, and games & puzzles, etc.).Children get to hear and use words of objects and ideas every day in the classroom – from animal figurines to kitchen supplies, from math concepts to the language of good etiquette. A child who is building a magnetic tower will learn about concepts of shape and size; one who is helping to set the table will learn the names of household utensils; another who runs across the classroom receives vocabulary centered around walking slowly and respecting the needs of friends.
3. Children learn better when they feel safe and being loved in a caring environment. We strive to have a loving, clean and organized environment where the children feel at home and supported. Our teachers put our love into action everyday for the children to feel it and care for their growing sense of self-esteem.
4. Language is inevitably tied to culture. Our classroom has a strong Chinese cultural influence, from Chinese food to children’s books, from celebrations (think Chinese New Year) to art (such as Chinese brush drawings).Chinese songs and stories also bring the culture to life in the classroom.