The Chinese Immersion Curriculum
Little Tiger is a full Chinese immersion school, unique in the Austin area.
This means that nearly all instruction and activities are conducted in Chinese. Children learn to understand and express themselves in Chinese through daily exposure. Our curriculum includes the full breadth of language arts, math, social studies, science, art, music, SEL, and PE. By learning core subjects in Chinese, students develop high level language skills that include not only daily social language but also academic language.
Benefits of Immersion Learning
Immersion education is a proven method of language learning that exposes children to the “target language” (Chinese) in an intensive fashion. Benefits include:
- Mimics the way in which young children acquire their native language.
- Produces high levels of proficiency including daily/social language and academic language.
- Significant, life-long benefits on cognitive development.
- Cultural awareness.
Unlike Romance and Germanic languages, Chinese has sonic qualities, vocabulary, and grammatical structures that are very different from English. This makes it stimulating and exciting to young learners, who quickly adapt to their new language environment.
More practically, Chinese is the second-most spoken language on earth. It is the native language of nearly one-fifth of the world’s population. China also has a very large cultural diaspora, with Chinese speakers living in many countries around the world, including the United States.
Chinese Language Arts + Guided Reading
Students are first exposed to Chinese characters in our Pre-K classrooms. Many are captivated by the visual qualities of the characters. In our Kinder curriculum, children begin reading simple picture books, using Diving Into Chinese, a series for young readers authored by our staff. In Elementary grades, students are exposed to increasingly sophisticated texts. Using our system of Guided Reading, the students will work with their teacher to read several versions of the same classical Chinese story. Each version adds layers of complexity and nuance to these attractive stories through the addition of details, sophisticated vocabulary, and so on.
What about English?
To understand day-to-day activities in our classrooms, see our typical daily Pre-K/Kinder schedule and daily Lower Elementary schedule students below. Each day is designed to promote learning and development through a balance of lessons, independent activities, and play.