1. Q: What kind of curriculum does SJCS provide to the community at present?
    A: SJCS provides 14 levels of Chinese language classes for students from Pre-K to 12 Grades. We have two tracks of Chinese classes: one is the total immersion Chinese classes (regular class). The other is the CSL(Chinese as a Second Language) classes. Regular classes are designed for students who have Chinese language exposure in their home environment while CSL classes are designed for students who do not speak Chinese at home.
  2. Q: What can we expect from our students in terms of Chinese learning when they attend SJCS? What language level can our students achieve after 12 or more years of study?
    A: SJCS will help our students to master about 2,500 Chinese characters after 12 years of study. Students are also expected to be able to speak, understand spoken Chinese, read and write in Chinese in their daily lives. Besides the Chinese language, SJCS also exposes our students to a micro Chinese environment at the school through academic activities, cultural events and a good variety of extra-curriculum (focusing on heritage may scare away those non-Chinese families).
  3. Q: How Chinese language is being taught in SJCS?
    A: SJCS follows Standards for Foreign Language Learning and National Assessment Educational Progress Framework and applies the principals of 5Cs.
    1. Communication in 3 modes: Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational;
    3. Connections which links Chinese learning to other subjects;
    4. Comparisons (compare Chinese culture to other cultures);
    5. Communities which help students to use Chinese language in their daily lives.
  4. Q: What textbooks are used in SJCS?
    A: Grade 1 to 12 of the regular classes at SJCS use MeiZhou Chinese. This is a series of Chinese textbook designed for children growing up in North America. It comes with.audio CD, DVD, flash card, and has both traditional and simplified Chinese versions. The teachers also supplement it with their own materials when they see fit. For kindergarten, our teachers designed their own teaching materials, and supplement it with Living Mandarin.           Grade 1 to 12 of the CSL classes use Go Chinese in the 2016-2017 school year. It is based on Traditional Chinese, and has both Hanyu Pinyin and Zhuyin Fuhao (BPMF) in it. CSL kindergarten uses Living Mandarin and the Chinese textbook (Philippines version) from Taiwan's Overseas Affairs Councils.
  5. Q: Is traditional Chinese or simplified Chinese used in SJCS?
    A: Starting from this calendar year (2008-2009), SJCS teaches both traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese to our students. All students are required to be able to recognize both traditional and simplified Chinese, while the students and their parents decide either form of writing based on their background. Our goal is to provide our students with necessary Chinese language knowledge that would allow them to communicate freely in any of the mandarin-spoken countries around the world.
  6. Q: Will there be too much burden to students if they need to learn both traditional and simplified Chinese?
    A: It is not as difficult as people think. Only about 20% of Chinese characters have different versions. We teach students the rules to derive simplified Chinese from traditional ones. This covers a major part of the 20%. Thanks to the computer technology today, we can easily do conversions between traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese by just a few mouse clicks. Students have been well-receiving the new adoption of both forms at school and are glad that they have options to learn both.
  7. Q: Does SJCS teach Hanyu Pinyin or Zhuyin Fuhao(BPMF)?
    A: Beginning in 2016 school year, only Pinyin is taught and used in the school as we recognize all of the students will sooner or later need to learn this anyway for various practical reasons living in the America today.  Pinyin will be first introduced to students in the 2nd grade. Prior to 2nd grade, teachers will systematically expose young students to Chinese focusing on speaking, pronunciation, character recognition, writing strokes, phrase and sentence structure. Introducing Pinyin later at 2nd grade will minimize the chance that students confuse Pinyin with English phonics.
  8. Q: Can CSL students switch to regular classes and regular class students switch to CSL classes?
    A: Yes, our students can transfer from CSL classes to regular classes once they are ready for total immersion Chinese learning and vice versa if they prefer to learn Chinese with the help of English instruction.
  9. Q: What is the class schedule in SJCS like?
    A: SJCS has 32 school days per academic year on Saturdays. On each school day, the class time for the first session (pre-K to 5th grades) is: 8:30 AM - 10:20 AM; the second session (6th to 12th grades) is: 10:40 AM to 12:30 PM. Both sessions have a 10-minute recess between two 50-minute periods. We have summer and winter breaks as local public schools.
  10. Q: There are many private Chinese tutoring classes and after school Chinese programs in the vicinity. Why should I choose to send my kids to SJCS? What are the advantages to send my kids there?
    A: There are a lot of differences between SJCS and other private tutoring classes and after school programs. Here is a list of a few things that other programs do not provide.
    1. We have classes for all grades in the same morning. If you have more than one kid in different grades, they can go to different classes at the same time, or in some cases, in the same morning. It is a convenience for parents.
    2. Our curriculum is well designed so that we can prepare our students for the Chinese SAT II and AP tests in higher grades. This will better equip them for college applications.
    3. San Jose Unified School District recognizes our curriculum for high school credits.
    4. We regularly send our teachers to training workshops so that they are always updated of the most current trend in Chinese education. This will benefit our students in the long run.
    5. Since SJCS is a parent-run Chinese heritage school. Our parents can decide on the curriculum and the way the school is managed. We also have the lowest tuition rate in the San Jose area (less than $320.00 a year per student). This low rate is made possible by the hard work of our parents.