Oak Hill School is proud to have offered the Mandarin Chinese program to the students since September 2006. Our Mandarin classes teach students basic Chinese vocabulary, Chinese characters, Pinyin, grammar, sentences, and phrases. We teach our students to listen, talk, read, write and type in the Chinese language. The classes offer a way for students to learn to speak, read and write Chinese while exploring the art and culture of China. Our activity-based curriculum enables students to acquire practical communication skills and experience the joy of learning another language.

For the middle school Mandarin Chinese classes, we continue to teach the students Chinese vocabulary, phrases, pinyin, characters, grammar, and sentences. Students have also developed skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese while exploring the art and culture of China. The basic textbook for this course is Learning Chinese With Me, which is further supplemented with authentic materials. The teaching materials are organized around thematic units that are essential to daily communication. The students have learnt the vocabulary related to the theme, the grammar and expressions they need to communicate about the theme. All students are expected to be able to use Mandarin Chinese to communicate in various aspects of life. Language is part of culture, and it represents and reflects the worldviews and customs held by the people of a culture. The middle school Mandarin class students create and nurture respect and love through achieving comprehension of another language.

In high school, students use their language to demonstrate skills, solve problems, and explore the link between language and culture. The textbook used is Integrated Chinese, which is supplemented with authentic texts, podcasts, and videos. In Chinese students’ senior year, they have the option to take AP Chinese Language and Culture to demonstrate their skills and gain college credit. The goal of the Oak Hill Chinese curriculum is for students to become global citizens who can view modern problems through a variety of lenses, and for students to test out of their language requirement in college if they choose to explore other areas of study. 

Language strategies help students to meet the challenge of the unfamiliar. By rising to stiff linguistic challenges the student gains confidence as he or she discovers an entire new world both in language and in self. The Chinese language is a unique language, and the Chinese culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world. We strongly believe that learning the Chinese language will enrich the Oak Hill experience of the children and guide them along the path of becoming world citizens and lifelong learners.

Maggie Gilbride, US Chinese teacher