Chinese at IMS
IMS is a dual language School, where Chinese culture and language are integrated throughout every aspect of the child’s experience. Every environment has an English speaking and a native Mandarin speaking teacher to surround the child with opportunities to acquire language naturally throughout each day.
Language – in both English and Putonghua – is the foundation for the child’s learning in all other areas at IMS. Starting in the Foundation Groups and Casa dei Bambini classes, the child begins to develop an instinctive sense of language through exposure to English and Putonghua. Our language programme in the early years is patterned closely after the native language experience: first oral learning with rhymes, philosophical stories, and song, then followed by writing and grammar. As a child’s writing ability improves, teachers encourage children to write creatively, to interpret drama, and to improve their language skills as they explore other disciplines.
In the Montessori Primary Years Programme, the Chinese Language Programme offers a differentiated approach to learning in Chinese, in two streams. Children in Stream 1 are primarily native and ‘near-native’ Putonghua speakers, most of who have attended the full 3-year Casa dei Bambini Programme at IMS. Stream 2 consists mainly of non-native Putonghua speakers who are interested in learning Chinese with an emphasis on the development of oral fluency. Stream 2 also includes classes that accommodate beginner language learners with no previous experience in Chinese. Both streams provide a very strong Chinese base for each student, as each child participates in small group language lessons based on ability, in addition to experiencing a dual language Montessori classroom.
The IMS Chinese Language Programme uses a variety of reading materials and textbooks. Additionally, IMS has developed its own specially tailored materials. Traditional characters are taught in both streams for reading and writing.