English Language Arts
A lifelong love of reading is the most important gift a school can offer its students. Research supports the fact that students who have strong reading skills are universally more successful on standardized testing. Likewise, students with strong reading skills are much more likely to succeed across the curriculum and become better writers as well.
At Hyde Academy, students are put into levels according to their initial placement tests and are then assessed formally at the end of each semester to determine if they are ready to move into a new level. In rare cases, students will be moved up or down during the course of a semester based on observation and assessment.
The first level of our ELA program is LFP (Language Focus Program). At this level, students work hard to develop their ability to read words, phrases, and sentences. They also learn basic skills and strategies designed to improve decoding, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension. Although students do engage in written work, we follow a ‘Speak First’ approach – encouraging students to develop their oral communication skills before tackling more complex writing tasks.
Students who are placed in Level B of our ELA program are at least two grade levels below their actual grade and the primary goal is to help these students master the skills they need to succeed at grade level. Emphasis is placed on honing skills in reading fluency and comprehension as these will transfer to all subject areas and ensure the students’ abilities to participate more actively in all of their classes. At the same time, students are introduced to the structure and semantics of English in order to more accurately and expressively communicate in writing.
Students in Level A of our ELA program are at or near the grade level expectations, and the focus is on becoming proficient in the skills required for academic studies at that grade level with a continued emphasis on vocabulary development and analytical comprehension. Literature and critical analysis of readings also serve as means by which we refine and expand students’ critical and academic reading skills.
One of the hallmarks of our ELA program is its emphasis on writing skills. Students engage in a rigorous writing program that is supported through a structural understanding of grammar and mechanics (begun at the LFP and Level B stages) and an appreciation for the beauty of expressive language (developed further in Level A).
As we aim to empower our students, we encourage them to use their skills in reading, writing, and presenting in all subject areas through our connected curriculum, and fellow teachers are always looking for ways in which to encourage English (and Mandarin) language development across the curriculum.
Chinese Language Arts
Our most successful second language students are those who have strong reading skills in their mother tongue and the ability to understand how to apply these skills to their work in English.
While there are many areas in which the study of English and Chinese share elements, we recognize that Mandarin does require a different approach at times.
Still, our approach follows the Hyde 1 – 2 – 3 method and memorization is just one aspect of the program.
At Hyde Academy, Chinese Program is an important part of our graduated bilingual curriculum.
Chinese Program is in line with national education standards, and focuses on training children with a solid foundation in Chinese and a recognition of traditional culture.
We emphasize the importance of learning from the root of Chinese characters, starting with the root, to stimulate students’ interest in learning;
We encourage and guide students to speak and write Chinese confidently;
We are committed to the development of students’ reading ability, to help students develop lifelong reading habits;
We encourage our students to question and think for themselves, to integrate Chinese with other subjects, and to apply what they have learned.
Our aim is to provide students with a strong foundation that is rooted in a deep understanding of Chinese culture, and the world at large.