Chinese Language Immersion
At East Voyager Academy, native Mandarin speakers teach our students in 75% of their curriculum areas.
East Voyager Academy is North Carolina’s first Chinese immersion charter school and is located in the beautiful city of Charlotte. EVA opened its doors for it’s inaugural school year on August 27, 2018. At EVA, native Mandarin speakers teach 75% of their curriculum to American students in their native Mandarin language. The core Mandarin curriculum at EVA consists of Math, Science, and Mandarin language. All other courses, such as Physical Education, Chinese Music, Chinese Dance, Chinese Theatre, and Introduction to Technology are all taught in Mandarin. This excellent array of courses is taught by Chinese certified teachers, who have earned their elementary education degrees in specialized subject areas at universities abroad.
English is also an important part of the East Voyager curriculum and is taught by native English speaking NC certified teachers. English speaking instruction is given in Language Arts and Social Studies, and accounts for approximately 25% of the day.
East Voyager Academy also partners with the Hanban Institute in Bejing, China and the Confucius Institute at University of North Carolina at Charlotte to recruit top tier educators from China to East Voyager and teach its gifted and talented students. These teachers compete rigorously for this opportunity and are screened thoroughly to meet the needs of the school.
EVA students learn cultural awareness as they are introduced to customs and experiences of teachers they look up to and have built relationships with. Students also celebrate both American and Chinese holidays, such as the Mid-Autumn festival and Chinese New Year.
Why It Works
Language immersion is a highly researched educational model in which part of a school’s curriculum is taught in a foreign language. Students in these programs achieve high levels of foreign language proficiency in addition to high overall academic performance.
Researchers now have evidence that people who learn another language, develop cognitive advantages that improve their attention, self-control, and ability to deal with contradictory information.
Scientist believe that the study of Mandarin uses both temporal lobes of the brain, versus just the left lobe in English speakers, and that learning to write Chinese characters helps the brain to develop spatial memory and math skills. There is even evidence to suggest that bilingual brains stay healthier longer than non-bilingual brains. Learning Mandarin isn’t just good for your brain, it also has important societal and professional merit. Mandarin is spoken by one fifth of the planet, over 1.2 billion people. China is the second largest economy in the world and one of America’s biggest trading partners. In addition, South Carolina is home to many Chinese based company headquarters.