Heritage Language Programs - Chinese

Chinese Language School of Columbia

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Address: 8700 Old Annapolis Road Ellicott City, MD 21043

Telephone: 410-750-1089

Web address: http://www.clscweb.org

Contact person

Name: Emily Lee

Title: Principal

Address: 8700 Old Annapolis Road, c/o Howard High School, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Email: toemilylee@gmail.com

Telephone: 410-750-1089

Languages/dialects taught: Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese

Grades taught: PreK-12

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: To offer the local community an opportunity to learn Chinese culture and language so that we preserve our customs, culture, and language among second-generation Chinese immigrants.

We offer bilingual classes for Chinese heritage families who speak English, and also want to learn Chinese. We also host cultural events for local community members to experience our culture.

Program origin: The program was founded in 1975


Parents’ expectations for the program: Since the school was founded and managed by parents, our mission is consistent with the expectation of the parents to provide instruction in Chinese language and culture to heritage Chinese learners.


Instructors’ and administration’s expectations for the program: Staff expectations are that students will learn to speak and write Chinese while learning about their heritage culture.


Students: 180 students attend the school. 95 percent of the students are second- generation immigrants, and 5 percent are adopted from mainland China. 95% of the students come from Taiwan, and 5% come from China.

How the program identifies heritage speakers: Self identification and interviews

Students’ expectations of the program: To learn Chinese language and culture


Number of instructors in the program: 18

Languages in which instructors are proficient: Chinese and English

Professional development opportunities instructors have: Workshops and conferences (local, regional, and national)


Total contact hours per week: 2 hours, 1 time per week

Student grouping: By age and language proficiency

Language skills

Heritage language skills: Listening, speaking, reading, writing

Time devoted to teaching language: 80 percent of the time


Aspects of culture taught: History, festivals, customs, arts and crafts, dance, and traditions

Time devoted to teaching culture: 20 percent of the time


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Lecture, interactive, hands-on


Textbooks used for instruction: The textbooks we use are provided by the Commission of Overseas Chinese Affairs.

Other materials are used for instruction: Teachers prepare materials.

Technology used for instruction: Instead of incorporating technology, we use traditional teaching materials (blackboard, paper, and pencil).


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress: We use weekly quizzes, chapter tests, mid-term tests, and the following standardized tests: SAT Chinese II and Chinese AP. We also use teacher observations and performance-based tasks or assessments.

Financial support the program receives: Tuition and fundraising

Special challenges

Challenges the program has experienced: Funding is always a problem. Facility rental fee is almost beyond affordable.

Additional comments: Grants and local or state government support

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