Foreign Language Department
6th grade Mandarin
Continuing from the lower school Chinese program, the course prepares students to converse in basic Mandarin. Students learn what to say in day-to-day situations, like ordering food or shopping. They learn to write simple sentences and acquire 300 Chinese characters.
7th grade Mandarin
This is a slightly accelerated (in content) Mandarin course in which students continue to use simplified Chinese characters. Students will review how to use Chinese dictionaries to look up words and expand their vocabulary. Students will also review how to type in Chinese using pinyin. The importance of learning Chinese is stressed, and the cultural differences between China and the United States are compared and contrasted with a wide range of activities throughout the year to help students appreciate the Chinese culture, history, and values. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to speak intermediate high level Mandarin, be able write about 300 Chinese characters, and be able to write simple essays.
8th grade Mandarin
By the 8th grade, students should already know how to use a Chinese dictionary and be able to type in Chinese. Students will learn some etymology to help expand their vocabulary. Students will learn 300 fundamental words and an additional 300 words. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to make requests in Mandarin in a respectful manner to people around them such as teachers and parents, and be able to understand and respond to an intermediate level conversation. They will be able to understand cultural differences and values through class work and activities. Readings at this level include texts, songs, poems, graded level news, jokes, essays, and graded level novels. Activities include making dialogues, playing games, watching movies, cooking, field trips, and calligraphy. Students who are 14 by July can join Hanban's summer camp and participate in a field trip to China. Hanban is a nonprofit organization that globally promotes Chinese language and culture.