Purposes and goals of the program : To teach Chinese language and culture
We operate from Monday through Friday, 4:30-6:30, on Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00 during the school year. We offer a summer language camp program for 5 weeks, Monday through Friday, 9:00-3:00. Adult classes are 1.5 hours per week, once a week for 10 weeks.
Program Origins : The exact date is unknown, but the program was founded about a hundred years ago. Therefore, we're the oldest Chinese school in Washington state. The program was founded because several Chinese parents requested the establishment of a Chinese school. The school was operated by Chong Wa Benevolent Association until 1973, when it was transferred to Chong Wa Education Society, a 501(c)(3) non profit. The school is located in Seattle's Chinatown, in Chong Wa Hall. This was originally built in 1929 as an opera house, but the school has classrooms in the basement of the building.
Parents' expectations for the program : Parents want their children to be able to read, write, and speak Chinese and to engage in appropriate Chinese behaviors. Additionally, the parents want their children to engage in several Chinese traditions, like calligraphy, arts and crafts, and games.
Staff's expectations for the program : Students will become proficient in Chinese language and culture through sustained study.
Total student contact hours : 10 hours from Monday to Friday, 3 hours for Saturday, 3 hours (half day) or 6 hours (full day) for the summer program
Times per week : 5 days for the normal school year, 1 day for the Saturday class, and 5 days for the summer program
Student grouping : Students are grouped by ability level, because it's difficult to teach with multilevel classes due to multiple entry points and varying levels of proficiency. There is no religious teaching in the classroom; 100% of the time is given to language teaching and culture.
Skills and levels of language proficiency students reach by the end of the program : This varies depending on individual effort, but if diligent, a student can carry on a conversation and write at a new level.
Kind of student identity your program fosters : Chinese American; for non-Chinese, an understanding of Chinese language and culture.
Methodologies and instructional strategies are used in the program : Total Physical Response, activity-based instruction
Textbooks : Texts are provided by Taiwan.
Other materials used for instruction : Paper folding books, craft books from Taiwan for staff to use as reference, ink stamps with Chinese designs, calligraphy equipment, various game components, and short selections from Chinese newspapers
Technology used in the program : We use CDs and videos. We would like to use technology more for instruction, but we need an extra person for the computer room, which only has 6 stations. Access ROC ( Taiwan) website, a free website which offers games and lessons in Mandarin, accessible to anyone: http://www.roc-taiwan.org/taiwan/2-visitor/index.htm
Local connections : The school has connections with local schools, colleges, and universities. Generally, our students continue their study at the University of Washington or local community colleges.
Credits : Secondary students receive high school foreign language credit based on state regulations governing study outside the school day conducted by non-school staff. Based on hours of study, 180 hours is equal to 2 semesters of high school credit. However, the student needs prior approval of school authorities and has to fill out an application form for an alternative learning proposal.
Home school connections/parent involvement : The program develops home-school connections and promotes parent involvement. Parents are welcome to volunteer and are invited to a winter party and a year-end potluck party. Additionally, they are asked to carpool and drive kids to all Chinese school events and competitions.
Opportunities students have for using the language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program : These are available at home and in ethnic clubs in the schools. Some students go to China with their parents because the parents are working in China for a time.