Nurturing Youth Minds: Be Bilingual

Stimulate Young Brain Development: Learn Chinese

Today, more of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual than monolingual. In addition to facilitating cross-cultural communication, this trend also positively affects cognitive abilities. Researchers have shown that the bilingual brain can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain, thanks to its developed ability to inhibit one language while using another. In addition, bilingualism has positive effects at both ends of the age spectrum: Bilingual children as young as seven months can better adjust to environmental changes, while bilingual seniors can experience less cognitive decline.

Because Mandarin Chinese involves learning language, sounds, drawing, and math all at once, it activates more regions of the brain and improves cognitive development overall, even in adults. Scientists theorize that because Mandarin representation of numbers is less abstract than Arabic numbers, and because the act of practicing handwriting requires repeated counting, young children gain greater familiarity with math and with numeric thinking. In learning Mandarin, the mathematical concepts are integral to the language fluency, and not a separate subject activating a different part of the brain.

[read more at US National Library of Medicine]

Little Panda Chinese (Age 4-6)

Stimulate your child’s brain development. No prior exposure needed.

Heritage Chinese (Preschool thru AP levels)

Our Heritage Chinese Program is for students already have some degree of exposure to Chinese Language and like to continue to build their listening and speaking skills, reading comprehension and writing skills in depth. 

We are proud to claim that our school was the first Saturday Chinese school in Minnesota to adopt the simplified edition of MeiZhou Chinese for our Heritage Chinese program.

MeiZhou Chinese, carefully designed by an experienced veteran Chinese teacher, is based on the learning environment and language background of American-born Chinese students. With fun and interesting features, the students will learn the Chinese language and culture in a meaningful and instructive way. The materials also provide many resources for students and parents to use as supplements. MICS also offers an AP Chinese class for students in grades 8 to 12 who already possess knowledge of the Chinese language, but would like to further refine their vocabulary, auditory, and literacy skills for their future studies. Our instructor will assist the students in preparing for the advanced placement tests and provide training for them in responding to a required one-minute oral test in order to receive a high score on the test. In addition, the instruction will be delivered using authentic texts to help students gain a better understanding of the Chinese culture for the AP tests.

Confucius Chinese

Confucius Chinese Program is designed for students who may have limited or no Chinese language exposure as well as doe students whose home language is a language other than Mandrain Chinese. MICS Confucius program consists of three age groups based on children’s cognitive development phases: Little Panda (ages 4-6), Crouching Tiger (ages 7-10), as well as Mighty Dragon (ages 11 or older)

(1)Little Panda Classes (ages 4-6):

In our Little Panda classes, we implement the curriculum called Monkey King Chinese. This series helps the young second language learners (ages 4-6) build a foundation of Chinese language in fun and systematic ways. Students are exposed to different common topics related to their life experiences, along with easy-to-learn songs and chants.

Students in our Panda classes learn their new language through the Total Physical Response (TPR) method—a way to engage and comprehend the new language using coordination of language and physical movements. They are able to identify approximately 200 commonly used vocabulary words in daily life, recognize basic Chinese characters, and carry out basic conversations and give a self-introduction, while they build the knowledge of the Pinyin system.

(2) Crouching Tiger Classes (ages 7-10):

In our Tiger classes, we adopt Easy Steps to Chinese for Kids. In this series, students at ages 7-10 are able to grasp new concepts easily using this series’ spiral feature as lessons and vocabulary are built upon from previous lessons. Also, cultural exposure is embedded in the curriculum. It provides the students with opportunities to explore the culture more in depth.

In our Tiger classes, students learn the new language using the Communicative Approach—a way to establish meaningful interactions with speakers while developing language skills. Students in this program will be able to produce longer sentences when talking to native Chinese speakers, read short passages in Chinese, and possess knowledge of character strokes, radicals, and characters. Many hands-on activities are also included in each lesson in order to assist the students in mastering their language skills.

(3) Mighty Dragon Classes (ages 11+):

Students at age 11 or older can attend our Mighty Dragon classes. Easy Steps to Chinese is designed for teenagers from a non-Chinese background. This task-based curriculum allows students to learn the language via a variety of activities, such as role plays, games, technology, etc. that are appropriate for this age group of students.

In our Mighty Dragon classes, students are able to perform Chinese confidently using complex sentences and paragraphs, to comprehend a short text or literature without Pinyin support, and compose paragraphs in Chinese. 

C. Singapore Math (Grades 1-6), Middle School Math (Grades 7 and 8), and ACT

MICS adopts the curriculum of Singapore Math in our math program, taught in English. This curriculum has been used in many school districts throughout the country and internationally. The majority of the schools using this curriculum have had great success in assisting their students in comprehending both concrete and abstract math concepts. Due to the fact that Singapore Math is aligned with Common Cores, students in our math program will be equipping themselves with math skills when they go back to their regular math class at school. In addition, we are very fortunate to receive support from university professors to assist us in designing our math program. With the exposure of Singapore Math, we truly believe that the students in our math program will become critical thinkers and problem solvers. In addition, our middle school math and ACT instructors not only have passion and many years of teaching math, but also have been coaching students in math competitions up to state levels for years. With our math curriculum, they are able to assist students in developing critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.