The goal of the HKIS Chinese Studies program is to prepare students to have a high level of both language proficiency and cultural awareness. HKIS provides a learning environment and curriculum that supports all backgrounds and proficiency levels using the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Chinese language and cultural understanding are taught authentically and through real-world experiences. With the development of both language skills and cultural awareness, students develop strong cultural competency.
HKIS has adopted ACTFL proficiency guidelines as the foundation of our language proficiency framework. Depending on their readiness, students will move through proficiency levels based on how much (quantity) and how well (quality) they can use the language. The proficiency structure shows natural language progression and measures what students can do with a language rather than knowledge of characters and vocabulary.
Regardless of first or second-language learners, students will be able to develop their literacy skills based on proficiency-appropriate content and instruction. With a clear pathway to move through Chinese language proficiency levels, we expect second language learners in our program to be ready for the Advanced Placement (AP) test in High School and the near-native learners to reach the AP level by the end of Middle School.
Why Literacy Skills Are Important?
In addition to ACTFL proficiency levels, we also align our literacy approach with U.S. Common Core standards(a set of uniform academic standards for K-12 maths and English Language Arts). This allows Chinese Studies students to transfer and apply the literacy skills they have learned from the English Language Arts curriculum as well as learn the skills that are specific to the Chinese language. Literacy tools such as Readers’ and Writers’ workshops are applied to both language arts classes.
HKIS will implement a Dual Language Immersion program starting in the 2025-2026 school year. With this new program, HKIS will expand our excellent language and cultural learning experience to meet an even more diverse student population and needs.
While the academic philosophy, standards, and learning experiences are aligned with the mainstream programs of the Primary school, the Dual Language Immersion program aims to deliver academic content in both Chinese and English and develop literacy skills in both languages.
In 2025-26, the Dual Language Immersion program will be implemented across two Reception 1 classes.
Chinese culture is a Student Learning Results (SLR) and is intentionally integrated into multiple aspects of student learning. Students at HKIS will develop a deep understanding of Chinese cultural practices and perspectives through the curriculum, community engagement, and real-world experiential learning.
More than just a language
A message from the director of Chinese Studies & World Languages