Frequently Asked Questions
Question #1. What aspects of the Chinese language does the program teach?
Answer: We teach students all of the four aspects of the Chinese language: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Question #2: What Chinese system does the program teach?
Answer: For oral language, we teach Mandarin Chinese. For the writing system, we teach the Simplified Chinese writing system. For the sound marking system, we teach pinyin. These systems are used by majority of the Chinese speakers worldwide.
Question #3: What is the age range of the program's students?
Answer: Our minimum enrollment age is 5, which is the age when we have found that children can comfortably handle our curriculum. Our current students range from ages 5 to 15 years old. Most of these students have started with us since around age 6 and have advanced up the levels within our program.
Question #4: Does the program offer levels based on a child's Chinese abilities? How are levels and a student's age correlated?
Answer: Yes, our curriculum has various levels that will match a student's existing Chinese abilities. We conduct an assessment during the enrollment process to determine which level is the best fit for each child.
Children tend to join our program between the age of 5 to 9, most of them complete one level in an academic school year. Occasionally, a child may repeat or skip a level to ensure the closest ability and level match. Because our priority is to allow students to study at the level best suited to their abilities, therefore in any given class, the students’ age difference may span within about three years.
Question #5: How big are the classes? What is your teacher-to-student ratio?
Answer: Class size ranges from 3 to 12 students in each class. The teacher-to-student ratio ranges between 1:3 to 1:8, depending on the level and the dynamics of the cohort.
Question #6: How many levels does the program currently offer and how advanced can a child go?
Answer: Currently, we have students studying at nine different levels. Beginner's levels are 1, 2 and 3, Intermediate levels are 4 and 5, and Advanced levels are 6, 7 and 8. Recently we have added a Level 0 for 5 year-olds.
Question #7: How does the program assess a student's progress?
Answer: During each class, our teachers pay very close attention to each student's energy level, mood, participation, and academic performance (i.e., the mastery of various content materials). And these information are assessed and documented after class for future evaluations. We also conduct individual parent-teacher meetings at the end of every semester.
Question #8: What is the student demographic like?
Answer: Our students come from across many of NYC boroughs—Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
About 50% of our students are ethnic-Chinese, or are of mixed Chinese race, mostly from Chinese-speaking homes. About 25% of our students are ethnic-Chinese from English-speaking homes (adopted from China by American parents). And about 25% of our students are of non-Chinese ethnicities.
Question #9: What is the family demographic like?
Answer: Our students' ethnic and language backgrounds may be diverse, but all of our parents are highly alike in terms of holding long-term goals for their children's Chinese language and culture learnings. They offer extremely strong support for their children's advancements.
Question #10: How does learning Chinese or attending Chinese classes fit into my child's regular school education?
Answer: All of our families use us as the only or main avenue for their children's Chinese language and culture learning. Their children's schools either do not have a Chinese program, or in the case when they do, the parents are not sure about the quality. As students advance steadily with us in Chinese, many of them learn a third language (e.g., Spanish or French) in their regular school.
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