With clearly articulated standards neatly demarcating accelerated progress for learners, the advanced Chinese language programme at Shrewsbury has begun to attract considerable attention from native speakers keen to draw upon the advantages of a truly international setting.
“I meet a lot of native speaking parents who feel nervous about the linguistic commitment of international schools,” explained Ms Haze Kwok, Head of Chinese. “They are always fascinated to learn that standards of attainment at the advanced level here compare favourably with those seen at bilingual settings elsewhere in the region.”
Having designed and implemented a daily programme bound by seven interconnected domains, Ms Kwok remains determined that communicative competence remains at the very heart of her work, even for her most experienced students.
“It is critical that all language learners remain committed to regular use and practical application. While thematic connection supports fluency across the curriculum for advanced level learners, our focus upon Chinese literacy supports rapid vocabulary development and grammatical precision.”
The Advanced programme is split into two sections: thematic learning makes up approximately 30% of the content and supports contextual application, consolidation and extension; and Chinese literacy addresses reading, writing and vocabulary development. Teachers work fluidly and with a centralised focus upon each child.
“In a traditional setting, students would likely work diligently through a textbook from start to finish, the pace of progress defined by a given resource. At Shrewsbury, we accelerate learning by personalising experiences more finely and regularly exposing students to a high volume of quality reading material,” she added. “Resource selection has a role to play, but far more important are the teaching skills exhibited by our Chinese language team and their ability to adapt to the arising needs of our ambitious and capable students,” she noted.
“Ms Kwok joined our team at the point of foundation,” explained Principal, Mr Ben Keeling. “We share a great commitment to the development of Chinese language skills among our student body and were determined to develop a programme that allows native speakers to maintain pace with Chinese system standards while enjoying the breadth of opportunity and experience that characterises international education. Resource selection has a role to play, but far more important are the teaching skills exhibited by our Chinese language team and their ability to adapt to the arising needs of our ambitious and capable students.”
Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong
Address: 10 Shek Kok Road, Tseung Kwan O, N.T., Hong Kong
Tel: + 852 2480 7617