1. How many days of instruction are there per week? What is the length of classes? Language acquisition is best achieved through active, repetitive, and complex learning. We believe that a minimum of 4 to 5 days a week one hour content-rich Mandarin immersion benefits the students the best. However, we acknowledge that alot of the children have working parents that may not be able to make the commitment for the 4 to 5 days a week classes; thus we provide the 2-days, 3-days, and the 5-days a week Mandarin lessons that allows the flexibility to busy parents
2. What are the proficiency levels? What is the age range and student-to-teacher ratio? In order to develop a high-quality Mandarin program, one class at Mei Jia Learning Center never exceeds 10 students per teacher (the very youngest class has one additional assistant) because we believe that small size class is more efficient for second-language learners, and the students have more chances to interact with teachers and language buddies. We group the students by appropriate age and language experience, so each child feels comfortable and maximizes all possibilities for learning and fun.
3. What kinds of content and skills are taught? Each level has a different curriculum and textbooks. For example, the beginning level explores the evolution of Chinese characters and fun, immersion-based activities, like understanding Chinese stories and legends. After one year of Mandarin learning, a student should master colors, fruits, time, numbers, body parts, and other basic information in Mandarin, and be able to recognize and write around 300 Chinese Characters. Advanced students are able to write short passages, such as a diary, write short stories according the pictures given. They are challenged to interact with teachers and chat with each other to feel more comfortable speaking Mandarin outside the classroom. Daily activities like shopping in a grocery store, ordering dim sum in a restaurant can be communicated in Mandarin by the students. Students learn language in a cultural context, enabling them to communicate even more effectively. Great emphasis is placed on contextual and Chinese cultural learning so that even activities such as cooking class and clean-up time serve as opportunities to engage students with the Chinese language. Language acquisition comes naturally to the children as a result of their participation in these fun and immersion-based activities.
4. What are the fees, and how much is extended care? Mei Jia Mandarin courses are very affordable--around $10-20/hour for Mandarin lessons depending how many lessons and what kind of lessons you take per week, and $5-10/hour for extended care.