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K-12 Mandarin & World Language Paths

A Guide for Multilingual Learning at Taipei American School

At Taipei American School, we are committed to upholding the ideals of our mission: helping students on their path to lifelong learning, maximizing their personal well-being, and being of service to others. We also are committed to combining the best of a broad-American based curriculum with a global perspective.

And nowhere is this commitment more evident than in our Mandarin Chinese and world language program.

Each day, we celebrate linguistic diversity at Taipei American School through our robust K-12 Mandarin and world language programs. Delve into an enriching journey that immerses students in authentic language experiences, while fostering global understanding from an early age.

Becoming multilingual is the key to building new skills, making connections between curricular areas, and developing as an active, engaged learner. To support this, TAS offers a comprehensive world language program — including a heavy emphasis on Mandarin Chinese — from grades Kindergarten through Grade 12, designed to support students of all proficiency levels. 

Not Bilingual but Bicultural

Taipei American School is not a true "bilingual" school, nor is it in our school's strategic vision or mission to provide that experience for our Tigers.

But we are deeply and thoroughly committed to encouraging and developing our students' global perspectives and multilingual aspirations!

In this diverse and interconnected world, our focus remains on equipping Tigers with the linguistic skills and cultural understanding that empower them to excel anywhere they choose.

School Languages

Our language of instruction is English, and students of all proficiency levels learn to develop and strengthen their skills. 

Whether a student is a native speaker or learning English at TAS, we strive for excellence in written and spoken expression, and guide students through deeper language comprehension and analysis.

Students in all grades receive an additional language of instruction, and as part of their studies, students learn to understand, appreciate, and respect the studied cultures, and apply this same approach to other cultures and civilizations around the world.

Home Languages

A strong language at home is critical for success in the classroom, and we support our families as they work to develop their child's first and/or home language skills. 

First language proficiency supports new language development, and TAS believes it is essential that parents maintain and develop students' home language(s).

We offer individual consultations, group sessions, and numerous resources for parents who are balancing the development of their child's academic English with their home language. 

 

Our approach to language learning is designed to be both enjoyable and meaningful, fostering a sense of accomplishment in students. We believe that success in language learning is achieved through effective communication, rather than a sole focus on providing a single correct answer. Language fluency is a gradual process that requires years of reinforcement and practice, with accuracy in linguistic forms naturally developing over time.

Middle School World Language Team

By the Numbers

Every Lower School student receives approximately 6,300 minutes of instruction each year in Mandarin - not including homework or contact time in the language with their family, TAs and other educational professionals.

There are 20 employees dedicated to supporting the Lower School Mandarin program, including teachers, librarians, coordinators and assistants.

The Middle School and Upper School are supported by 15 Mandarin teachers and 9 World Language teachers to assist in the linguistic development of our students.

Our English as an Additional Language program includes 9 full-time employees for the Lower School and 1 full-time employee in the Middle School.

Intentional Language Offerings at Every Level

 

In Their Own Words

“ Language is more than words; it’s a bridge to understanding, empathy, and inclusion. Our emphasis on choosing language that is inclusive whether it is in Mandarin or English reflects our dedication to fostering global citizens who value different perspectives and inclusive practices. 

E-chieh Lin

Director of Inclusion & Wellbeing

“ Every child’s linguistic journey is different. Our daily Mandarin sessions are not 'one size fits all.' They are tailored, ensuring that whether a student is taking their first steps in Mandarin or building upon a strong foundation, they are both challenged and supported.  

Caroline Hsu

K-5 Mandarin Coordinator

“ Our Chinese Library is not just a repository of books; it's a living testament to the rich tapestry of Chinese literature and culture. As students immerse themselves in these resources, they forge a deeper connection with the language and its heritage.

Rose Lai

KA-12 Chinese Library Head Librarian

Multilingual Students in Action

Upper School Mandarin

The Upper School offered 20 different types of Mandarin classes last year to reach all levels of learners, including IB and AP courses.

Find out more on the Upper School Curriculum guide.

Upper School Spanish

The Upper School offered 11 different types of Spanish classes last year to reach all levels of learners, including IB and AP courses.

Find out more on the Upper School Curriculum guide.

Upper School Japanese

 

The Upper School offered 4 different Japanese classes last year, including an AP course.

Find out more on the Upper School Curriculum guide.

Upper School Classics: Greek & Latin

The Upper School offered 11 different Greek & Latin classes last year, including IB and AP courses.

Find out more on the Upper School Curriculum guide.

Middle School Spanish

The Middle School offered 3 different Spanish classes last year, one for each grade level.

Find out more on the Middle School Curriculum guide.

Middle School Mandarin

The Middle School offered 5 different Mandarin classes over the three middle school grades, including a beginner and Heritage track.

Find out more on the Middle School Curriculum guide.

Middle School Classics: Greek & Latin

The Middle School offered 3 different Greek & Latin classes last year, one for each grade level.

Find out more on the Middle School Curriculum guide.

Did You Know?

Taipei American School is one of the only schools in our region (and the world) to have a dedicated Chinese Library to support its KA-12 learning community! We know that building fluency in another language requires high-quality source material from which to draw inspiration – and our Chinese Library contains thousands of texts and digital resources, spanning all levels of Mandarin language learners as they enjoy and refine their fluency.

Pictured here, you see one of our Tigers completing an individualized reading-level assessment in Mandarin to make sure they are paired with a book that is perfect for their current level of fluency.

Did You Know?

TAS offers translational services to parents for important messages and presentations in our community. The most commonly translated languages are based on our enrollment needs and include Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. But don't worry if your language isn't listed here! If you need assistance understanding our program or offerings, we will do our best to meet your family's linguistic needs.

TAS also offers parent affinity groups for our parents whose families identify as Chinese, Korean, Philippino, and Japanese, among others. We hope all of our Tigers – including our Tiger Parents – find a home here at TAS.

Did You Know?

Taipei American School has increased its professional development offerings related to supporting multilingual learners as part of our current Strategic Plan. Supporting language development is not the sole responsibility of language teachers; it takes all teachers in our community to support and challenge their fluency across subjects and grade levels!

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