International Schools Myths | American School Hong Kong
Allowing Your Child to Study In An International School, Will Result in Lower Chinese Proficiency?
International schools are popular in Hong Kong because they help students gain an understanding of different cultures, and the curriculum is designed to help students to pursue post-secondary education abroad.
English is the main language of teaching and communication in international schools. This has left parents in Hong Kong anxious about their child’s Chinese proficiency, as their child will focus heavily on their English language development. However, does attending an international school necessarily affect your child's Chinese language skills? Are there any international schools in Hong Kong that can take care of bilingual language development? Let’s explore this topic in this article!
Language Teaching Model in International Schools
In Hong Kong, most international schools use English as the primary language of teaching, allowing students to develop their English skills. In addition to developing a child’s English skills, various international schools also offer Chinese as a secondary language and it is usually taught in Mandarin. The Chinese language curriculum and the type of character (traditional or simplified) used to teach the program can vary across different international schools. In addition, some international schools also offer bilingual teaching. This can be executed through selected subjects being taught in Chinese, but parents need to keep in mind that students will be spending less time on English development. On the other hand, some international schools will have some selected classes where the Chinese and English language is used together for teaching. Therefore, parents can take the initiative to enquire about the language programs available at each international school.
A Comprehensive Chinese Language Program at ASHK
The Chinese language program at the American School Hong Kong (ASHK) uses Mandarin as the primary language of instruction and offers 5 Chinese classes a week. At ASHK, 4 Chinese streams are offered to meet the Chinese language development needs of all students, and the streams are offered in either simplified or traditional characters. Foundational and Standard level programs are offered in simplified Chinese; Higher and Advanced level programs are offered with traditional Chinese characters.
During the first two weeks students are evaluated by our Chinese teachers, including a student's performance in class and with assessments to determine their appropriate stream. Returning Students are assigned to a suitable stream by their Chinese teachers according to their previous performance. Chinese teachers can adjust the stream of the students according to students' language ability in the middle of the school year.
Holistic Chinese Program
The ASHK Chinese program is delivered with a holistic approach, with an emphasis on language ability, and it covers different aspects including moral character, Chinese culture, and thinking. Teaching materials cover the four aspects of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to foster the balanced Chinese language development of the students.
American School Hong Kong is committed to providing students with a balanced and enjoyable Chinese learning experience.
Extracurricular and Cultural Exchange Activities
In addition to academic activities, ASHK offers various extra-curricular activities related to Chinese culture to cultivate students’ interests. For example, Chinese dance, calligraphy, Chinese orchestra, painting, and lots more. Moreover, a Wushu and drama school team have been established to help students gain self-discipline, perseverance, and communication skills. It will also help students deepen their understanding of Chinese culture. ASHK provides opportunities including project study, field trips, and cultural exchanges, with the aim of providing a balanced and joyful learning experience for all students.
The school values Chinese culture and regularly celebrates traditional festivals on campus.
The coaches of the Wushu school team are all world-class champions and focus on developing students' perseverance and self-discipline.
The drama school team receives professional training, helping students to build confidence and improve their observation skills.
In conclusion, selecting an international school like ASHK which values the Chinese language and has a strong Chinese program, will not hinder a child’s development in the language. The holistic curriculum at ASHK ensures that students are developing their language ability while understanding the Chinese culture.