Chinese Primary Language Arts Honors Course Website
A. COVER PAGE
OPTIONAL INFORMATIONCKGROUND INFORMATION
Context for Course (optional)
Abraham Lincoln High School and Newcomer High School are the two high schools in the San Francisco Unified School District that have been offering Primary Language Arts 1C to 6C since 1996. Abraham Lincoln High School's Chinese Primary Language Arts courses (1C to 6C) obtained UC "a to f" list approval in 1999. In 1997, Abraham Lincoln High School started to offer a two-way Chinese immersion program (which was ended in 2001). Most students who are enrolled in this program have had at least 8 to 9 years of intensive, immersion style Chinese language instruction. The regular Chinese as a foreign language or even regular Chinese honors courses become too easy for them. Parents and students demand a Chinese language arts course that are both challenging and at grade level comparing to students in China so that students with different background can continue to develop their Chinese language proficiency and become truly bilingual and biliterate. Meanwhile, since many students in our program are gifted students, they would like to take an honors level Chinese language arts course because the Primary language arts courses are already more advanced than regular Chinese or honors Chinese courses, yet they do not offer honors credits. With the passage and implementation of the San Francisco Unified School District's PreK to 12th grade Chinese Language Arts Content and Performance Standards, Chinese primary language arts honors courses will be the first high school level courses that totally meet the standards.
History of Course Development (optional)
Abraham Lincoln High School's Chinese Curriculum Committee was formed in 1997 responded to the demand of students, parents and community of high quality Chinese language arts program. The committee is lead by Fang, F, the school's ESL/Bilingual department head who has many years' experience in Chinese language arts curriculum development and assessment. He was the author of the district's high school primary language arts curriculum guide in 1997 and was a key member of the district's middle school Chinese language arts rubric development committee lead by Dr. Ji-Mei Chang, Professor of San Jose State University. Fang was also a key member of California Department of Education's preK to 12th grade recommended Chinese reading list committee. When the SFUSD started to develop Chinese language arts content and performance standards in 1998, two members of the Lincoln committee, Fang and Huang, G, were also members of the district's standards committee. This honors course and textbook development started in 1998. From the very beginning, the production of the Chinese language arts textbooks and workbooks for the honors course students were tailored to meet not only the national standards, but also the more rigorous district standards -- possibly the highest Chinese language arts standards outside China.
During the three years of the curriculum and textbook development, the committee has been working with Chinese language experts and some Chinese authors closely and consult them regularly. The Chinese language arts curriculum office of the People's Republic of China's department of education, California Chinese language research institute, Bilingual Education Company in Taipei, Taiwan, many publication companies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, many Bay Area private Chinese school teachers, many SFUSD Chinese language teachers and administrators and many parents have contributed a great deal to our curriculum. It is an international effort to put together such an advanced Chinese language arts course.
Pilot testing has been conducted using some of our Chinese primary language arts class students. The course requirement, learning activities, assignments and textbooks have been following the honors course description. Students who have gone through the pilot program have made astonishing progress: Since 1998, Abraham Lincoln High School's students have taken most medals in the district's Language Olympics, High School Chinese category. (In 1998, our students swept all medals.) In 1999, Lincoln's primary language arts students participated in the People's Republic of China's National Secondary Student Essay Contest along with over one million Chinese high school students. We won one first place medal, two second place medals and two third place medals. In 2002, again students participated in this contest along with over three million local Chinese secondary students. We won one first prize and one second prize. Meanwhile, English Language Learners who have gone through the program also make remarkable progress in their English learning because they can transfer what they learn from Chinese literature to English literature, a component that has been missing in all high school level bilingual education. Over 70% of the ELL participants were reclassified to regular English program after a year and over 50% of them were admitted to UC, CSU and other four-year colleges after they graduated.
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