Information about EC Classes:
The purpose of the EC classes is to provide those students and families who are motivated to learn Chinese an opportunity to learn in a Chinese only environment at an accelerated pace. Students will need to be able to commit about 30 minutes daily on preparing for classes, reviewing what has been taught, and completing homework and other assignments. Families' support and involvement is also expected. Families will be asked to provide a Chinese language environment at home for the students. Students should be comfortable with using Chinese only to communicate with the teacher and fellow students in class. Students will also be expected to take an initiative in their own learning, e.g. preparing for class in advance, reading additional materials on their own, or completing a reading or writing project in addition to classroom assignment. The additional cost of the textbooks is about $50 - $75 per year.
FAQ on EC classes:
Q: What are the textbooks used in the EC classes? How are they different from the current Zhongwen textbook?
A: EC classes will use Ma Liping Zhongwen as the main textbook. The teachers will likely provide other supplemental teaching and reading materials. Compared with the current Zhongwen textbook, the new textbooks progress at a faster pace. For example, with the current Zhongwen textbook, one lesson (which normally consists of one main text and one comprehensive reading) is taught over a 2-week period. In EC classes, one lesson (which consists of one main text and 3-5 comprehensive readings) is usually taught in one week.
For more information about the new textbook, please visit http://www.mychineseschool.com.
Q: Why are these "experimental" classes?
A: They are experimental for a few reasons. (1) We're trying some new textbooks. We need to experiment with the curriculum and the pace at which we teach to customize it to best serve our students. (2) We're experimenting new teaching methodologies which aim at providing a Chinese only classroom environment for the students, encouraging the students to take an initiative in their own learning, stimulating their interest in learning Chinese and using it in their daily life, and enhancing their language proficiency at a faster pace. Students will be exposed to a lot more reading materials in Chinese in order to improve their character recognition and reading skills.
Q: How do I know whether the EC class is right for my child?
A: The key factor to consider is whether you and your child are able to commit to about 30 minutes per day on Chinese, over 90% attendance rate and 100% homework completion rate. Because the classroom will be a Chinese only environment, your child should be able to communicate in Chinese only. Other than the textbook, the teacher may also assign additional reading materials and extra homework. Parents' involvement and support is also required.
Q: If I register my child for this class, and later find out it's not suitable for him, can we switch back to the regular class?
A: If you're registered for an EC class, you're expected to commit to it for at least one semester. You may switch back to the regular class during enrollment time at the beginning of the next semester.