Chinese Immersion Experience

In today’s interconnected world, we know it is more important than ever for our children to better understand the world around them. Singapore American School is proud to launch our Chinese language and culture immersion program, where students will work toward fluency while building the foundation for continued academic success. Through our Chinese immersion program, students will have language opportunities integrated into every moment, allowing them to gain a deep understanding of the language and truly become global citizens.

Benefits of Chinese Bilingualism


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spoken language in the world


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listening skills in foreign language learners than their monolingual peers


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of two languages help children solve logic problems and multi-task more efficiently


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at focusing on a task while tuning out distractions

Integration of Immersion Classes

SAS currently has two full curriculum kindergarten Chinese immersion classes; with each subsequent year, the program will grow to add additional grade levels.

Academic Yeargrade level
2017–18two kindergarten classes launched
2018–19two grade 1 classes added
2019–20two grade 2 classes added
2020–21two grade 3 classes added
2021-22two grade 4 classes added
2022-23two grade 5 classes added

What Will Immersion Students Learn to Do?

Communicate directly with English and Mandarin-speaking communities on a variety of levels.

Gain the cultural competency of one who knows what it is to have two inner worlds based in the roots of two different languages and values.

Practice critical thinking that will allow them to analyze conflicting messages or information between languages, and come to reasonable conclusions.

Develop deep character, with the ability to understand two different value systems and ways of life.

Collaborate with Chinese and English speakers and create bridges between communities to the benefit of both.

Creatively bring together their two language worlds in new and exciting ways through a variety of media.

Students will go beyond simply learning the language. They will use the language for learning.

The 75/25 to 50/50 Immersion Exposure Model

The SAS 75/25 Immersion Model to 50/50 Bilingual Model for English Speakers Learning Chinese

75/25 Chinese and English Exposure Model

Kindergarten and Grade 1

75% Chinese

Math, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts

25% English

RLA, Art, Music, PE

Grade 2 and 3

60% Chinese

Math, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts

40% English

RLA, Art, Music, PE

Grade 4 and 5

50% Chinese

Social Studies, Science, Language Arts

50% English

RLA, Math, Art, Music, PE

What will the 75/25 Chinese and English Exposure Model Look Like?

  • Chinese immersion instruction, instead of once-daily Chinese instruction
  • Professional, exemplary world language teaching staff
  • Chinese-speaking instructional assistants
  • Professional development and classroom training for teachers
  • Common SAS curriculum culturally adapted for this program
  • Service learning opportunities where students communicate directly in Chinese
  • Celebration of Chinese cultural activities where the community becomes the classroom

Progressing Through Immersion over Time

Progressing through Immersion Over Time

Immersion in kindergarten, first, and second grade is one-way immersion, comprised of students who are native English speakers learning Chinese.

As we build our program, fourth and fifth grade can become two-way bilingual, with a mix of students, some of whom are native English speakers learning Chinese, and some native Chinese speakers who are learning English, each language group serving as each other’s language models.

How Will Immersion Classes be Aligned with the Rest of the School?

Dedicated daily time for English language and literacy instruction
Language-specific dedicated spaces for both English and Chinese, with team teaching, flexible furniture and structures, and natural light
Collaborative environments for personalized learning
Positive education framework that combines the principles of positive psychology with best-practice teaching and educational paradigms that promote healthy development and success in the school setting
Readers and Writers Workshop
Classroom libraries of leveled readers

The Chinese Immersion Teachers

We know that student success is directly tied to quality teaching. In addition to being highly skilled, SAS teachers and instructional assistants are dedicated to connecting with students and engaging them at every point in their learning.


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speakers who are proficient and educated teachers


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experience as Mandarin teachers


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subject classroom teachers


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who are native Chinese speakers are also qualified and experienced teachers

Language Learning in Middle and High School

Middle School

  • Competency to thrive in core subjects taught in English.
  • Advanced level language courses available for language electives.
  • Integrated language courses (now in the earliest stages of development)

High School

  • Language courses from novice to college level, including Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture, and Advanced Topic Chinese Language: History
  • Seal of Biliteracy for students who have attained required language proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation
  • Chinese Honor Society
  • Multiple service clubs that focus of China with travel and language use possibilities

Apply Now

Who should apply

Students are eligible for acceptance into kindergarten—fluency in English is preferred although prior exposure to learning Chinese is not necessary.

*For students in other grades or beyond the start of the school year in kindergarten, non-native learners from other similar programs (immersion programs that are higher than 50/50 bilingual exposure to the language) who can meet language and content requirements for the grade level may consider applying.

Joining the immersion program at Singapore American School is a commitment. To be accepted, parents must agree to their children remaining in the immersion program through fifth grade, unless they relocate out of Singapore earlier. We also ask that parents be willing to make a commitment to reading English books with their children every day at home.

All candidate students will be screened and are strongly encouraged to join the program in August, unless transferring from another immersion or bilingual program. Late start requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For new SAS applicants

Indicate your official interest in immersion as part of the online admissions application process. Applications for new families will be considered on priority lane, date of application, completeness of application, and are subject to thorough review for general admission to SAS. Once the admissions process is complete, each family will meet with the director of world languages to discuss the program and expectations,have questions answered, and determine 'fit' for the program. 



For current SAS families already enrolled in our early learning center

Interested families will be contacted in late October to attend a parent coffee information session about immersion. Following that will be an interview with the director of world languages and once 'fit' is established, those prekindergarten students will be enrolled directly into the kindergarten immersion program.



Exciting possibilities


On our recent travels to South Africa, we were approached by a Spanish family when they heard Mannat speaking in Spanish with SIRI on her Ipad, as they thought we were Spanish. They told us that Mannat spoke Spanish like a native and because of her they thought we were all from Spain. They were pretty impressed when we told them that she has learnt it in school. Incidents like this serve as an indicator for us about her progress in the real world and needless to say, we are quite pleased.