90/10 Immersion Model
Since Northwest Chinese Academy’s founding in 2008, our 90/10 immersion model has been a cornerstone of our educational philosophy. We believe that students in the United States are capable of achieving near native speaking and writing fluency. Students spend 90 percent of their day learning in Mandarin Chinese, with the remaining 10 percent of the day dedicated to English language arts. We maintain our high level of immersion from preschool through fifth grade, making NWCA one of most immersive Chinese immersion schools in the country, let alone the Portland metro area.
Our Chinese curriculum is provided by the People’s Education Press, a Beijing-based publishing house led by China’s Ministry of Education, and is in use in schools throughout China. This means that a student graduating from fifth grade at Northwest Chinese Academy will have a Chinese fluency on par with that of a native Chinese fifth grader. As part of our adherence to our 90/10 model, art, music, science, and other electives are taught in Chinese by our grade-level teachers, who have translated Common Core compliant materials from English to Chinese.
Beginning in kindergarten, students receive 55 minutes of English language arts instruction daily from our English specialists, who are native English speakers. Students in preschool and pre-K receive 25 minutes of English language arts instruction daily. Our English specialists have years of experience teaching in multilingual learning environments and are especially skilled at helping students translate language skills learned in Chinese classes into English.