Our lower school foreign language program exists through a partnership with the Taiwanese Government. Students in K-5th grade learn Mandarin as a required course of study. Strong evidence shows that time spent on foreign language study strongly reinforces the core subject areas of reading, English language literacy, social studies and math. Research evidence indicates that foreign language learners consistently outperform control groups in core subject areas on standardized tests.
Mandarin is part of the essential curriculum at Terra Verde. Students in the lower school have Mandarin classes throughout the week.
The Mandarin curriculum equips our students with communicative language skills and cross-cultural understanding between the Asian and the Western World. Students gain communicative language skills in kid-friendly approaches such as:
interactive games and activities,
Total Physical Response*,
story telling, etc.
*Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method developed by James Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University. It is based on the coordination of language and physical movement.
In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to celebrate Chinese holidays and to learn about Chinese customs. For example, during Chinese New Year, we learn to write in Chinese calligraphy, and make our own couplets and red-envelopes. We also have fun making regular and vegetarian dumplings with Mrs. Song Li, one of the parents in our school community.
Self-introduction: We learn to say our names, age and nationality in Mandarin Chinese. These students were in third grade.
We play Mix & Match to practice introducing family members in Mandarin. For example, a student would say “This is my …. (family member)” and the other student would say “This is my …. (family member)”. Then they switch cards to find another partner. These students were in first grade.
We practice daily conversations on the phone. Here two of our first graders demonstrate how to have a conversation in Mandarin!
We learn Chinese Pinyin, the phonetic system for Chinese pronunciation, by singing a song at the beginning of each class.
Students practice writing their Chinese names.
When Chinese New Year comes, we learn about all the customs pertaining to this holiday. We also practice Chinese calligraphy.
3rd and 4th graders made their own Chinese couplets and red-envelopes. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, children get blessing money from their parents to put in their red-envelopes .
We go outdoors to learn Chinese words on our campus. We mark them on the map, practice their pronunciation and play games with those words. Our kindergarten friends are born explorers :0)
We learn Mandarin Chinese in hands-on, interactive and fun activities!