|According to the “Introduction to the PYP language scope and sequence,” by the IBO:“In PYP schools all students have the opportunity to learn more than one language from at least the age of 7. Every learner benefits from having access to different languages, and, through that access, to different cultures and perspectives. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and helps facilitate international-mindedness.”The International School at Mesa del Sol PYP Programme provides second language acquisition in Mandarin Chinese. The PYP written curriculum approaches language acquisition, whether it is the student’s first, or an additional language, via strands of written, oral and visual language, and are described separately in four continuums: listening and speaking; viewing and presenting; reading; and writing. By the end of 5th grade, our students should show mastery on the following skills:
- Understand short utterances when listening and respond orally with learned material
- Produce learned words, phrases, and sentences when speaking and writing
- Detect main ideas in familiar material when listening and reading
- Recognize the importance of communication in learning about the culture
To make the most of our K-5 Content-Enriched Mandarin Chinese Curriculum, it is helpful to understand the assumptions undergirding the Program. These include:
- The curriculum is based on 200 minutes of instruction per instructional week in grades K-5;
- All children can be successful learning a second language to the extent that they can learn their first language;
- Explicit grammar instruction is not appropriate for young children;
- This curriculum is designed for non-heritage speakers of Mandarin Chinese;
- Content-enriched instruction reinforces concepts and skills across the curriculum while developing language proficiency;
- While the focus in early grades is on spoken Mandarin, it is important to develop literacy skills as well; and
- The appropriate use of technology can enhance an elementary Mandarin Chinese program.
While students receive direct instruction in Mandarin during the specials portion of their day, they also receive reinforcement from their classroom teachers during their morning meeting and in many other ways throughout their day.
You can support your child’s language acquisition by:
- Asking him/her to teach you what he/she has learned in class
- Encouraging siblings to practice with each other
- Providing opportunities to listen to and to view Mandarin language programs online or in the community
- Visiting the “Resources” section of our webpage, and exploring the online resources with your child.
Please feel free to contact me with your questions, comments or concerns.
Amalia Giebitz, Music and Mandarin Specials Teacher