Heritage Language Programs - Chinese

Northern Virginia Experimental Chinese School

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Address: Chantilly High School, 4201 Stringfellow Rd. Chantilly, VA 20151

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

Levels: Pre-K-12

Languages/dialects taught: Mandarin Chinese

Program Description

Program mission statement:
• To provide the opportunity for the local community to acquire Chinese language and cultural knowledge
• To promote the awareness of cultural diversity and harmony among the students and the community
• To apply non-traditional educational methods to supplement classroom teaching, such as cultural, social, sports, and other extra-curricular activities

Type of program:
• Saturday academy

Program origin: Founded in 1992


• Second-generation immigrants, 98%
• Children of interethnic marriages, 1%
• Non-ethnic background, 1%

Countries of origin: Most families are from Taiwan, some from Hong Kong, and a few from China.

Total student enrollment: 300

How the program identifies heritage speakers: Interviews with the students

How the program determines the language background and language proficiency of students: By oral interview. Oral interviews are conducted at the time of registration for new students’ class placement.

Percentage of students who complete the program: 50%

Percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program: 20%


Number of instructors in the program: 30

Languages in which instructors are proficient: Mandarin Chinese, English

Proficiency level: Native proficiency

• BA
• MA


Total contact hours per week: Two hours

Student grouping: By grade level, from Pre-K to 10th grade

Language skills

Heritage language skills:
• Listening
• Speaking
• Reading
• Writing


Aspects of culture taught:
• History
• Festivals
• Customs
• Traditions/Beliefs
• Arts and crafts
• Rhymes
• Social and cultural norms
• Cultural appropriateness
• Literature


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress:
• Weekly quizzes
• Chapter tests
• Mid-term tests
• Final exams
• Teacher’s observations
• Performance-based tasks or assessment


Connections with other institutions: Colleges and universities

What the program has in place

Financial support the program receives: Tuition

Other support the program receives: Some donations from parent volunteers

Solicitation of funding: By the fundraising director

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