SIS ES Chinese – Ms. Zhang's Chinese Class

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About Chinese Language A & Heritage Course

Definition of Language A Speaker (Language A Class)

A native speaker has Chinese as his or her first language  and has full oral fluency and literacy in Chinese. These students typically maintain the cultural norms of their heritage.

Definition of Heritage Spearker (Heritage Class)

A heritage speaker is a student who has some proficiency in Chinese. Heritage speakers can be categorized based on the prominence and development of the Chinese in the student’s daily life. Chinese may have been acquired in one of the following ways:

long stay in China
formal school program
work with a Chinese tutor
home situation with family helper (ayi)
parent or parents who speak Chinese
extensive experience with extra curricular activities in Chinese through sports, music , art or similar experiences.
social network with Chinese speaking friends
extensive time speaking Chinese other than school time
strong parent interest in Chinese
strong student motivation to learn Chinese
other experiences with Chinese
There is a wide range of language proficiency among heritage B students. Heritage B students may have various abilities in Chinese:

full or partial oral fluency but undeveloped literacy because student was schooled in another language

students who speak other Asian languages and have some experience with the Chinese writing system

third – or – fourth generation family members who can speak Chinese to a limited degree but cannot express themselves on a wide range of topics

Students from any of these categories may also have gaps in knowledge about their cultural heritage.

When placing students in language A or Heritage classes, all of the above factors along with the students academic ability will be considered.



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