Heritage Language Programs - Chinese

Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center

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Address: 401 N. Garfield Ave., Alhambra, CA 91801

Telephone: (626) 487-8909

Fax: (626) 282-9252

Web address: http://www.chinese-school.netfirms.com

Contact person:

Name: Samuel Chong

Title: Director

Email: chineselanguagetutor@yahoo.com

Languages/dialects taught: Mandarin, Cantonese

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: The purpose of the program is to educate students so they can function professionally in English and Chinese. Courses are customized to specific students’ needs, and vocabulary lessons are tailored so that students can become familiar with basic business conversation.

Type of program: California court certified interpreters program, full immersion program, foreign language program, after-school program, and Saturday academy

Program origin: Founded in 2001


Instructors’ and administration’s expectations for the program: Instructors’ expectations include helping the students to learn Chinese language and culture, and to teach certain students the ability to translate and interpret professionally.


• First-generation immigrants, 10%
• Second-generation immigrants, 20%
• Non-ethnic background, 70%

Countries of origin: United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong

How the program identifies heritage speakers: The program is open for everyone and anyone who wants to learn Chinese.

How the program determines the language background and language proficiency of students: Oral interviews are sufficient to determine the language skills of prospective students.

Percentage of students who complete the program: 80%

Possible reasons for student withdrawal: Financial conditions or change of work

Students’ attitudes toward the language varieties they speak: Students are very proud of the languages they are learning.

Students expectations of the program: Students expect to be able to understand predictable basic questions and commands on familiar topics, interact orally on familiar topics including business negotiation and travel, use language for personal communications needs, ask and answer questions and request clarification as needed, handle simple phone conversation in Chinese, handle simple communication in Chinese for business trips, learn common phrases within their field, handle business negotiations in Chinese, and demonstrate familiarity with selected aspects of Chinese cultures.

Number of instructors in the program: 12 instructors

Languages in which instructors are proficient: Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese

Proficiency level: Native speakers

Credentials: 30% of our instructors hold a B.A. or an M.A. in Education and Chinese

Additional Comments: Instructors have a diverse background; they come from Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. Some have worked at state corporations in China; others have worked in the private sector. However, one common trait is that they all understand "Guanxi,” that is, trusted business relations in a network of friends and business associates in China.


Total contact hours per week: 3 hours per week

Times per week: 1 or 2 times per week

Student grouping: By proficiency levels

Percentage devoted to language and culture teaching: 100%

Language skills

Heritage language skills: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing

English skills: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing

Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program: This depends on the student’s involvement and motivation.


Aspects of culture taught: Geography, history, festivals, customs, folktales, traditions/beliefs, religion, social and cultural norms, cultural appropriateness, and literature


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Instruction is a blend of activities and direct language lessons.


Textbooks: The textbook used varies from year to year, instructor to instructor, and by levels. Here is a list of textbooks used for Mandarin Chinese, which can be purchased from the Web site.
• My Chinese Classroom: Conversations for daily life, traveling, and business
• Conversational Chinese 301
• Easy Way to Learn Chinese Characters


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress: Chapter tests, mid-term tests, and final exams


Opportunities students have for using the language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program: The program offers a wide variety of services, which are all listed on the Web site. One of the services provided is a home-stay program in Beijing.

What the program has in place

Financial support the program receives: Tuition from students

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