Heritage Language Programs - Chinese

Chinese / Hockessin, DE

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Levels: Grades 9-12

Languages/Dialects taught: Chinese (Mandarin)

Program name: Chinese School of Delaware

Address: P.O. Box 849
Hockessin, DE 19707

Contact: Tommy Lu / Vice Principal

Email: lu@dtcc.edu

Telephone: (302) 573-5475

Fax: (302) 577-2548

Web: www.chineseschoolde.org

Purposes and goals of the program:
• Maintain heritage
• Provide opportunities to learn Chinese language and culture
• Provide facilities and an environment for second generation families and adopting families
• Provide an environment for students of similar age groups to get together regularly to prevent identity crisis
• Provide support for the community about culture and language

Type of program
• Chinese language program
• Content-based
• Exploratory
• Saturday academy

The program was founded in 1971 by a group of Chinese immigrants.

Parents' expectations for the program: to be able to do minimum listening, reading, speaking, and writing in Chinese and to be aware of the important Chinese cultures.

Staff expectations for the program: to be able to provide a stable learning environment for our students and some assistance to the community


• Second generation immigrants: 70%
• Third generation immigrants: 10%
• Children of interethnic marriages: 10%
• Children of interethnic adoption: 5%
• Non-ethnic background: 5%

Countries of origin:
• Taiwan
• Republic of China (ROC)
• United States
• Malaysia

Total student enrollment: 106

The program identifies heritage speakers of Chinese by registration and teacher’s evaluation. The majority of students are placed by teacher's evaluation and a small portion by parent's input.

Percentage of students who complete the program: 90%
Percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program: 85% (estimate)

Possible reasons for students to withdraw from the program:
• Too many weekend activities
• Lack of interest

Students' attitudes toward the language varieties they speak: medium to high levels of interest in learning the language.

Instructors and Staff

Number of staff in program: 16

Languages in which staff are proficient: Chinese (Mandarin)

• High credentials
• BA , varied credentials
• MA, varied credentials
• Doctorate: varies

Professional development opportunities for teachers:
• Heritage school system seminars, workshops, teacher training programs
• Local university or college professional development programs
• Web-based training programs by OCAC (Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, Taiwan, ROC)

Professional development opportunities that teachers need:
• Classroom management
• Innovative teaching style.
• Assessment
• Understanding how to apply for teacher certification

Hours of instruction per week: 2.5 hours
Students are grouped from Pre-K to 10th grade

Heritage skills
Listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation.

Levels of language proficiency students reach by the end of the program:
• Intermediate (level II)

Culture taught
• Geography
• History
• Festivals
• Customs
• Traditions/beliefs
• Folktales
• Arts and crafts
• Dances
• Songs
• Rhymes
• Social and cultural norms
• Cultural appropriateness
• Literature

Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program:
• Traditional classroom style
• Utilize videos and audios
• Culture events

Textbook used: New version of Chinese textbook by OCAC (Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, Taiwan, ROC)

Other materials used for instruction: videos, audios, posters, flash cards, computers, Internet, and maps

Technology used in the program: low usage

Kinds of assessment:
• Mid-term tests
• Final exams
• Teacher's observations

Our students continue their study at various universities and colleges. The program develops connections with universities and parents by promoting parent involvement in the parent co-op program and in providing financial support . The school also has local and state government financial support as well as home government financial support, tuition, and help from the local community.

Financial support is solicited by
• Principal
• School board

Other kinds of assistance the program would like to receive from other entities:
• Financial support for improving culture activities
• More communication with second generation families, adopt families, and non-Chinese speaking families about their needs.
• Teacher training
• Administration/management training and funding
• How to write grants and proposals to obtain resources

The program does not grant credits upon completion.

The program monitors students' academic achievement in school with:
• Speech contest
• Poster contest
• Chinese brush painting contest
• Program performances such as Chinese New Year

Examples of challenges that the program has experienced:
• Limited funding
• Reduced enrollment due to decreased first generation immigrants in the area
• Shortage of qualified teachers
• Reduced parents' interest in getting involved
• "Fighting" between different pronunciation systems and "traditional" and “simplified" characters

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