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The Golden Combination – Language-Immersion with Internationally-focused and Inquiry-based Curriculum Framework --——— Bonnie Liao, Ph.D. ( 廖冰) Lead Founder.

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Presentation on theme: "The Golden Combination – Language-Immersion with Internationally-focused and Inquiry-based Curriculum Framework --——— Bonnie Liao, Ph.D. ( 廖冰) Lead Founder."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Golden Combination – Language-Immersion with Internationally-focused and Inquiry-based Curriculum Framework --——— Bonnie Liao, Ph.D. ( 廖冰) Lead Founder & Board Chair Princeton International Academy Charter School --——— Principal, YingHua Language School --——— Head of School, YingHua International School

2 Princeton International Academy: What is the Mission? To nurture and enable young people to acquire dual language fluency in Mandarin Chinese and English within the International Baccalaureate curriculum framework. To inspire and challenges its students to excel as inquisitive and compassionate young leaders through a rigorous, inquiry-based education program that fosters: > Academic, college-access, and career development > Ethical, emotional, linguistic, and social/cultural development > Physical development Princeton International Academy Charter School

3 Who are the founders? A diverse group of parents, teachers and administrators with a common belief: We can and must prepare our children to enter a global economy with new challenges and opportunities in the 21 st Century. Read the founders’ statements of interest at Princeton International Academy Charter School

4 PIACS Curriculum: How do we get there? Two Unique Features of the PIACS Curriculum Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion International Baccalaureate Program Princeton International Academy Charter School

5 85% of PIACS students will score Proficient or Advanced on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) Language Arts Literacy tests for every grade level that the tests are administered to PIACS students. Researches show that immersion students may initially lag behind their counterparts in a monolingual setting on measures of English language proficiency. Longitudinal studies show that not only do immersion students catch up, but they also often surpass their monolingual peers both academically and linguistically. The nature of Mandarin Chinese also contributes to the initial lag of performance in English language arts literacy: Chinese is a tonal language with a logographic writing system, which is vastly different from a language such as English that is based on the Latin alphabet. Source: DoE Approved PIACS Charter, Part 1 Sec 2 (available at Academic Objectives: English Language Arts Princeton International Academy Charter School

6 95% of PIACS students will score Proficient or Advanced on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) Mathematics tests for every grade level that the tests are administered to PIACS students. PIACS will employ the most successful methods of teaching mathematics, such as Singapore Math, to ensure that students achieve the highest possible international standards, while meeting and exceeding state standards. Academic Objectives: Mathematics Princeton International Academy Charter School Source: DoE Approved PIACS Charter, Part 1 Sec 2 (available at

7 95% of students will demonstrate Chinese language acquisition with proficiency measured and documented throughout each year using norm-referenced assessment as the Early Language Learning Oral Proficiency Assessment (ELLOPA) (conducted in Chinese), the National Online Early Language Learning Assessment (NOELLA) (conducted in Chinese), language samples, storytelling/re-telling, observations, and teacher assessments.. Academic Objectives: Mandarin Language Arts Princeton International Academy Charter School Source: DoE Approved PIACS Charter, Part 1 Sec 2 (available at

8 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion What is “immersion”? Immersion programs are the most effective type of world language program currently available in U.S. schools. The target language is taught as a subject AND used as an instructional language. Most effective type of Immersion Program: Princeton International Academy Charter School

9 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion Immersion Model at PIACS: Kindergarten - 100% Mandarin Grade One - 90% Mandarin, 10% English (LA & reading) Grades Two and Three - 75% Mandarin, 25% English Grades Four and Five - 50% Mandarin, 50% English Princeton International Academy Charter School

10 Immersion vs. other language Programs Immersion Tonal language with logographic writing system - best suited for early immersion Simultaneous learning of culture and language High level of fluency Motivated Non-immersion Limited contact time (typically min. per lesson, 1 – 3 times per week) Taste of language and culture Not functional or fluent after a few years Motivation issue Immersion has been proven to be the most effective in language acquisition. Princeton International Academy Charter School

11 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion Academic/Educational Benefits Students achieve high level of functional proficiency in Chinese AND achieve academically at or above their non-immersion peers on standardized tests administered in English Schooled through Chinese, students acquire the language skills as well as the content knowledge without needing to allocate additional instructional time at the expense of other subject areas Effective model for third language children because it offers a learning environment that “levels the playing field” Princeton International Academy Charter School

12 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion Linguistic Benefits Contrary to concerns about the negative effect on English language development, immersion students demonstrate enhanced levels of English language skills and of metalinguistic awareness (knowledge about language) Bilingual students display greater facility in learning a third language than monolinguals Princeton International Academy Charter School

13 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion Cognitive Benefits Research has shown that immersion students have greater cognitive flexibility and nonverbal problem-solving than their monolingual counterparts. Socio-cultural Benefits Immersion students develop higher levels of intercultural sensitivity and demonstrate greater openness to members of the target culture relative to non-immersion. Princeton International Academy Charter School

14 Dual-Language Mandarin Immersion Two-way Immersion This model integrates English-speaking students and Chinese- speaking students in an academically challenging learning environment so that they learn from and with each other. For Chinese-speaking students, first language literacy and formal schooling through a child’s first language constitute key predictors of success in academic achievement and the development of academic English. Becoming bilingual and bicultural in a heritage language promotes positive ethnic identity development. Princeton International Academy Charter School

15 What are our language teaching techniques? Integrate language, content, and culture Promote continuous language growth and improve accuracy Make information understandable Create a rich language learning environment Communicate with the students clearly and effectively Provide opportunities to practice the language verbally Provide support for diverse learner needs Princeton International Academy Charter School

16 Curriculum Framework at PIACS The PIACS curriculum, following the IB framework, addresses all nine NJ Core Content Curriculum Standards: English Language Arts Literacy Mathematics Science Social Studies World Languages Visual and Performing Arts Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Technology & 21 st Century Life and Careers Five components are emphasized within all content areas: Princeton International Academy Charter School

17 Curriculum Framework at PIACS Five components are emphasized within all content areas: Concepts Knowledge Skills Attitudes Action Princeton International Academy Charter School

18 Comparisons with Traditional Curriculum - Character Education Our Learner’s profile Inquirers Thinkers Communicators Risk takers Knowledgeable Reflective Well-balanced Open-minded Caring Principled Traditional Curriculum No systematic guidelines Teachers base character education on their own values Princeton International Academy Charter School

19 Comparisons with Traditional Curriculum - Professional development Our Framework Teachers have weekly planning meetings both by grade level and content area Teachers of all subjects support and complement each other to deliver an integrated curriculum Traditional schools Teachers are independent (teaching behind closed doors). Teachers of different grade levels and subjects do not regularly or systematically communicate with one another. Princeton International Academy Charter School

20 Comparisons with Traditional Curriculum - Depth vs. width Our Framework Six units of inquiry Interconnectedness of knowledge (Example: unit on construction) Inquiry process and tools, critical thinking skills (how conduct in- depth research on a given topic) Relate projects to life outside the classroom/Perform community services related to new learning Traditional Curriculum “Mile long and inch deep” Knowledge segmentation Lack of conceptual understanding and deep connection of knowledge Test driven Princeton International Academy Charter School

21 Summary PIACS will create a new option for public eduction Language full immersion Internationally-focused inquiry-based curriculum framework Unique combination


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