The Elementary aged child begins to develop a Reasoning Mind and craves social interaction. The dual-language immersion experience changes in response:
Dual language immersion continues to permeate the children’s daily lives. On most day the children participate in one three-hour Montessori work cycle, and a similar, shorter work cycle. During the cycle, the English-speaking teacher provides small-group lessons and overall guidance for work in the class and the Chinese-speaking teacher closely supports and encourages the extension of the Montessori work in Chinese. In addition, each child participates in a tailored Chinese lesson each day for forty-five minutes. These lessons are given in small groups targeted at the Chinese language level and ability of each child. The curriculum uses specific textbooks to allow tracking of progress, along with many multi-sensory approaches to extend the student’s language acquisition.
The Chinese language curriculum in the IMS Elementary Programme is specifically designed to cater to children across a broad spectrum of abilities, including those children who join us in Elementary from other schools. Children from different classes are combined into small groups which are differentiated by ability in Chinese; from near-native or native-speaker to the beginner.
These small group lessons take place each day, and are designed to allow the children to learn all aspects of the Chinese language: speaking, listening, reading and writing (using the complex/traditional characters introduced in the Casa dei Bambini). Retaining and writing characters from memory, including proper stroke order, is a new and critically important part of learning the Chinese language in Elementary. IMS programmes are designed to encourage the child to continue to love learning in Chinese.
At entry, IMS Elementary Chinese teachers make a recommendation for the best fit for each child in our Elementary Chinese Programme to ensure that the child maintains confidence and feels successful in the new environment. Ongoing monitoring at school continues to ensure that the grouping continues to be most suited to supporting each child’s continued joyful Chinese language learning and development.
MS has one of the strongest Chinese programmes in Hong Kong, and most of our children who have been with the school from the Casa dei Bambini enter the highest groups of Chinese in their secondary schools. Those children who are with us for even just a few years quickly find Chinese to be an area where they can excel, and quickly communicate beyond their parent’s ability.