Why Chinese Immersion?
In an increasingly global society, fluency in Chinese is an asset. Language immersion is the fastest and most efficient way for students to become proficient in both English and Chinese and master content knowledge and skills at the same time.
No one speaks Chinese in our family. Can our children do well at YHIS?
Yes! When new parents come to our school, they are surprised to see the diversity at YHIS. No prior knowledge of Chinese is required. Our program is designed for children of both English-speaking and non-English-speaking families. Children are designed to acquire language, an ability that decreases as they grow into adulthood. Your children are quite adept at navigating their world as they learn a new language, and will start using it before you know it.
Our programs are designed for children of English-speaking families as well as for families whose dominant language is other than English. For families where Chinese is not spoken, additional effort may be made to bring Chinese into their homes, from watching educational programs in Chinese, to participating in celebration of Chinese language and culture.
We speak Mandarin at home. Why should I send my child to a Chinese day school?
At YHIS, we believe that children of native speakers of Mandarin benefit greatly from learning not just ‘kitchen talk,’ but academic-level language. They maintain their sense of pride and identity with their heritage. YHIS students read and write advanced, authentic texts in Mandarin from an early age. This ability to read and write academic material in Mandarin is critical for retaining the language into adulthood.
What age is best to start my child in language learning?
A key component of language acquisition is an early start. Just as a baby picks up the cadences and sounds of a language in the womb of its mother, young children are designed to learn language. As we grow older, that ability diminishes. With tonal languages and those with a logographic writing system, such as Chinese, it is especially important to start immersion in the target language at a young age, when children are developmentally attuned to distinguishing tonal and visual variations.
At YHIS, children as young as 2.5 years old may join our Chinese immersion preschool program on a full-time or part-time schedule. However, we also accept students with no prior knowledge of Chinese at any grade level. With our small class sizes and a rigorous tutoring program, we are proud to be able to support students - with or without Chinese background - who are enthusiastic about learning languages.
Will learning two languages confuse a child or slow academic progress?
There is no evidence to indicate that learning in two languages will confuse or slow a student's rate of progress. There is, however, significant research to indicate that immersion education have major advantages. There are many useful resources available on the website of The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota (www.carla.umn.edu).
How can I support my child's homework?
Parents can support students at home by making sure that they have the right environment and tools to get homework done (e.g., a quiet space and enough time, paper, dictionaries in both languages, writing utensils, and art supplies such as construction paper, paste, tape, and colored makers). Parents can also ask questions about the homework in the language spoken at home, thus giving the students opportunities to explain the assignment in their first language. School will also provide homework support in the form of frequent communication between the teacher and the parents. The teachers also describe the topics that are being taught and provide an overview of homework assignments for the week, along with written guidance for complicated assignments (and perhaps some models of completed assignments). Teachers may also set up a class buddy system, matching an English-speaking student with a Chinese-speaking student. If your child stays for the after-school program, homework support is also provided there on a daily basis.
Will my child fall behind in his/her English?
If my child is in a Chinese immersion school, will he/she fall behind his/her peers in English or other subjects?
In any school, there is variability in student achievement in any given subject. Factors such as family, time invested, and outside exposure all play a part. We see students that consistently outperform their counterparts in general education, as well as students needing a period of adjustment. Research shows that immersion actually reinforces English language development in the long term. After three to four years, immersion students typically do as well as or better in English than their peers in general education.
Do students participate in standardized testing?
If YHIS does not participate in the public school standardized tests, (NJASK -New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge or PARCC-Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) how will I know if my child is meeting New Jersey standards for his/her grade level?
As an independent school, YHIS does not participate in state standardized testing. Starting in the 3rd grade, we evaluate our students through the ERB (Educational Records Bureau) tests which are used nationwide to test private school students and some high achieving, academically-oriented public school students. Furthermore, our curriculum has been mapped to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards while following the framework of inquiry-based, internationally-focused International Baccalaureate. We do not teach to the test, but use the state standards as guidelines. Our unique curriculum gives our teachers and students greater flexibility for in-depth, engaged, and rigorous learning.
Do you offer financial aid?
Yes! Families interested in receiving need-based tuition assistance are encouraged to apply for financial through the on-line application available on our website here. The financial aid applications and supporting documents are due during the early spring; the date is listed on our website. Qualification for aid is determined by a 3rd-party vendor and is based on many factors. Your application for financial aid does not affect the acceptance of your child(ren) for enrollment at YHIS in any way.
What other programs do you offer?
We offer a multi-week Chinese immersion summer camp from late June to late August every year, and daily after-school Chinese tutoring and culture classes throughout the school year. In addition, we host weekly Parent & Me classes for children ages 12 months to 2.5 years old and their caregivers.
Our sister schools offer the following, as well:
YingHua Language School – Chinese language classes on Sundays at Rider University for all levels and abilities, ages 5 to adults. www.yinghua.org | (609) 356-8409 | .
YingHua in Beijing Summer Program – 4-week summer camp in Beijing, China, for students from the United States who are entering 4th grade and up. www.yinghuasummer.org | (609) 356-8409 | .
What are your school hours?
In general, class hours are from 8:45 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday. The exceptions are as follows: Preschool to first grade - classes start at 9 am. Sixth grades and up - classes start at 8:30 am. Half day schedule for preschool and pre-k ends at 12:30 pm.
Before care starts at 7:30 am, and after care ends at 6:30 pm.
What if I have more questions?
Please contact us during school hours at (609) 375-8015 or through email at . Personal tours of the school can be arranged by appointment. There are also school events such as Open Classrooms, Chinese New Year Celebration, Language Delight, and so on that are open to the community, where you can experience YHIS in an authentic and in-depth way.