One of the best things that UPrep offered, and a main feature that compelled me to attend UPrep, was the Chinese language classes. Other than the teacher being one of the coolest people I’ve ever met, there have been so many great things that came out of it. We learned not only how to speak and sound authentic, but also how to understand the Chinese culture. I’ve taken Chinese at UPrep for the last seven years. Being able to put a smile on my grandparents’ faces as I converse with them in their native language is one of the greatest gifts UPrep has given to me." –Joseph Yeung '21
UPrep's Middle School language program offers a broad introduction to language learning and culture. The courses develop students’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, introduce basic grammar concepts, and begin to lay the foundation toward proficiency in the target language.
As preparation for communication in real-life situations is stressed, teachers design tasks and activities to give students opportunities to use the language in a variety of meaningful ways. The program also includes activities related to the process of studying a second language. A system of formative assessment guides students in meeting learning and performance goals.
Middle School students typically complete a three-part series (Levels A, B, and C) in grades 6-8.* The pace of the Middle School sequence allows for greater exploration of topics and cultural themes, as well as development of general study skills and good practices for language learning. Upon completion of the Level C course in Middle School, students will be placed into an Upper School course appropriate for their level of preparation.
*Students entering with an advanced background in a particular language may seek placement beyond the beginning level.
Language Ignition (6th grade)
All sixth grade students begin their language study with an immersive experience during the first intensive term, whether they are placed in level A or beyond, or are enrolled in Learning Pathways.
Language Ignition introduces students to the language fundamentals and culture of Mandarin Chinese, French, or Spanish. Students select the language to study during course requests the prior spring and do not take a language class during the first semester of sixth grade.
A group of students practice conversing in Spanish in the Commons during an exercise called "Talking Tours."
Chinese language students enjoy a traditional meal they prepared together. Each language classroom is equipped with a full kitchen.