All the Nord Anglia Education schools in China have a strong focus on Mandarin. Over the past 10 years in China, we have been developing our Mandarin curriculum and teaching methods to suit the learning styles of international students. We have adopted a regional approach to Mandarin teaching. Our Mandarin teachers in Hong Kong will be fully supported by the experience of our teachers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, ensuring that your child receives the best possible Mandarin learning experience.
At NAIS, we use the Mandarin Matrix reading resource. These comprise a collection of educational products (books and websites) that support Chinese language teaching both within and outside the classroom.
These books are used in the same way as the English language reading books that the children bring home and are used to support their language development. Along with the books, each pupil will have an online login to access the Mandarin Matrix website. This allows our teachers to set reading, comprehension and character writing and recognition activities at home. The teacher can then assess their progress online and feed this into their learning in the classroom.
Between Year 1-4, your child will be taught Mandarin daily (each class for Year 1 is 30 minutes long, increasing to 45 minutes from Year 2). This includes reading and writing using simplified characters, as well as singing and drawing to ensure learning is fun and engaging. Our small classes ensure that your child’s level of Mandarin will be supported and challenged, whether they are an absolute beginner or a more accomplished Chinese speaker.
From Year 5, pupils have the option to study both Mandarin and Spanish, moving to 3 lessons of Mandarin and 2 Spanish lessons per week or keep 5 lessons of Mandarin.
For absolute beginners of Chinese, pupils begin to learn basic greetings as well as everyday words and phrases they can use when out and about in Hong Kong. For children who are already fluent in Chinese, there is a greater focus of learning Chinese literature and character writing.
From Year 5, your child will be given the option to study another European language. We have chosen Spanish as it is spoken by almost 500 million people worldwide, making it the world’s third most spoken language (after Mandarin and English). Pupils in Year 5 and 6 can study 3 classes of Mandarin and 2 Spanish classes per week.
During the Spanish lessons children will have the opportunity to:
- become familiar with spoken Spanish
- gain confidence in reading and writing in Spanish
- practice communicating in Spanish
- learn about Spanish culture and Spanish speaking countries around the world
- learn and develop skills through a range of interactive activities including role play, music and ICT as well as focusing on more traditional reading and writing activities.
From Year 7 French is also available as a language option. Pupils can choose to study:
- 4 lessons of Mandarin and 3 lessons of Spanish or French
- 4 lessons of Spanish and 3 lessons of French
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
For pupils who join us with limited English we are able to provide English as an Additional Language (EAL) support from Year 1. Pupils with a first language other than English are assessed on application to the school by one of our experienced EAL teachers, who are then able to determine the level of support required. Pupils receiving EAL support follow a recognised, structured programe, to ensure that their needs are met and progress is made. EAL teachers liaise closely with class teachers to target support effectively. Depending on the age and needs of the pupils, support may be given in class as part of the lesson or where more intensive support is deemed appropriate, sessions will be given on a one to one basis or in a small group. Usually the program will consist of a combination of both in class support and small group or one to one work.
The support is designed to make sure that students develop grammar, vocabulary and communication skills to interact academically and socially. The core elements of speaking, listening, reading and writing are taught in every session, with reference to National Curriculum goals and age appropriate expectations. Lessons are fun and interactive, providing pupils with structured learning that builds competence and confidence daily.
The programme is structured so as to make it clear to parents and pupils that they can expect to make visible, regular progress. It sets out a path to success, and pupils who study English as an additional language here know that they will achieve the twin goals of English proficiency and the qualifications to prove it.
We hope that pupils will move through the program rapidly and they are regularly assessed so that they may be integrated back into their mainstream class as soon as they are ready.
You will receive information about your child’s progress together with school reports and during parent’s evenings. You are welcome to contact the EAL department at any time if you would like to discuss your child’s progress or have any additional questions about the programme.