Academic Overview

NWCA provides an engaging, challenging and inquiry-based academic program of science, math, social studies, art and music taught in Mandarin Chinese by native Chinese speakers who specialize in the subjects they teach.  All of our students from kindergarten through 5th grade also participate in a comprehensive English Language Arts program.

Our curriculum follows state and national education standards for English, science and math and our Mandarin immersion program follows Beijing’s curriculum standards. NWCA’s teaching staff combines the best of Chinese and American principles and methodologies to deliver our unique and rewarding curriculum.

Accreditation/Credentials/Testing

NWCA holds candidate status for Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS) and is licensed by the State of Oregon Child Care Division.

Our curriculum follows the Oregon State Academic Content Standards and the Beijing Standard for Chinese language and mathematics. The Beijing Standard in mathematics exceeds Oregon standards.

In 2018, NWCA 3rd through 5th grade students took the Smarter Balanced Test, comparing our students to the others students in Oregon and nationwide.

  •  100% of NWCA students met or exceeded Oregon State expectations for their grade level in math and reading.
  • 100% of NWCA 5th grade students met or exceeded Oregon State expectations for their grade level in science and social studies

 

NWCA students are assessed in Chinese proficiency from grades 2nd – 5th using Stamp 4Se.  These standardized tests are designed to assess the written and verbal proficiency for non-native foreign language learners in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  Stamp 4Se was chosen due to the ability of this test to uniquely allow directly mapping of students’ testing results to the Proficiency Guidelines of  the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

  • 100% of NWCA students met or exceeded the Chinese proficiency standards that were set by NWCA for each grade level
  • NWCA grade specific Chinese proficiency results consistently outperform the national average in Chinese Immersion education by the categories of reading, writing, speaking, and listening for all tested grade levels.

 

True (or Full) Language Immersion

True immersion is how all children naturally acquire language and an understanding of culture – by listening to and using language all day and by participating in music, art, games, and the sharing of stories. The more exposure children have to a first, second or third language, the more it becomes a part of who they are. At NWCA, our students spend 90% of their day listening to and using Mandarin Chinese from the moment they are greeted at the door in the morning to when they depart for home in the late afternoon.

Inquiry-based learning

Students are naturally inquisitive. At NWCA, all students learn in an interactive environment.  Our small classes foster in-depth discussions and hands-on activities. Our students don’t just sit and listen to teachers.  They ask questions. They study science by exploring concepts with hands-on experiments. They don’t just practice vocabulary words and read books.  They write, they discuss what they’ve read, and they gain the confidence to develop and present their own stories. They don’t just learn how to read music. They perform it!