How much Chinese can a child realistically learn?

Obtaining Essential Learning Skills through Foreign Language Study

Yew Chung International School of Beijing Logo
As learning Mandarin Chinese becomes increasingly popular across the world, exposing their children to the language is becoming more and more intriguing to parents relocating to China.

However, due to many families’ transient lifestyles, parents sometimes doubt the effectiveness of international school Chinese programmes. How much Chinese can a child realistically learn in two to three years?
Additionally, how can a child transition into a classroom where Chinese is regularly used if they have zero background in the language?
April Peng, our veteran Primary School Chinese Curriculum Coordinator, has been with Yew Chung International School of Beijing for 13 years and is well equipped to answer such questions. She explains below how Yew Chung International School of Beijing gets your child speaking Mandarin in a short amount of time as well as how the curriculum does far more for your child than just teaching them a foreign language.

icon-world-schools-1A Unique and Personalized Bilingual Learning Experience

As Yew Chung International School of Beijing offers rolling admissions, students come and go throughout the year. Thankfully, our teachers are well-equipped for the challenge of bringing a child with zero Chinese background quickly into the bilingual fold. YCIS Beijing offers one of the most comprehensive Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) programmes in Beijing. Students are divided within CFL into four different learning levels from Newbie to Advanced.

Teachers also create an individualized adaptation plan to help new beginner-level students with their initial studies; during this adaptation period, students receive extra encouragement and affirmation in order to help stimulate their studies and interest in the language.

icon-world-schools-4Co-Teaching in a Stimulating Environment

Once acclimated, the bilingual environment enables students’ Chinese language ability to progress at a rapid pace. In-class lessons focus on games, music, dialogue, stories, and a variety of other teaching methods in order to inspire each student’s interest in the subject, slowly transforming student apprehensiveness into a love for the language. At Yew Chung International School of Beijing, Chinese class is creative and vibrant, full of engaging lessons that inspire student interest.

Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s unique co-teaching model ensures each classroom is always equipped with one native English-speaking and one native Chinese-speaking co-teacher. Chinese-speaking co-teachers use Chinese during workshops and co-taught lessons, giving students a great deal of Chinese language learning daily beyond designated Chinese class. This exposes students to Chinese throughout the day in a supportive language-learning environment, further accelerating Chinese language acquisition.

icon-world-schools-2Lessons to Last a Lifetime

Even discounting the benefit that learning a second language at a young age imparts, the Yew Chung International School of Beijing Chinese programme teaches students a myriad of skills beyond language. The programme strives to include essential personality traits, intertwining traditional Chinese values of “benevolence,” “righteousness,” “etiquette,” “wisdom,” and “trust” with each lesson in an effort to mold each child into a responsible global citizen. Additionally, Chinese classes adhere to the Yew Chung International School of Beijing motto of “aligning with technology.” Students regularly utilize technology in their studies, such as using iPads to edit their own Chinese audio books, record audio for their stories, create short Chinese videos, and much more.

Thanks to these unique features of the curriculum, many students who begin schooling at the beginner level are able to speak fluently in day-to-day situations after one to two years of schooling, even acting as little translators for their parents! Besides this appreciation for a new language and culture, students exposed to the Yew Chung International School of Beijing teaching model receive essential skills that facilitate the next step of their learning, wherever in the world that may be!