Chinese Language Immersion

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

The 75/25 to 50/50 Immersion Model at Singapore American School

Processing through immersion over time

Chinese language immersion in kindergarten, first, and second grades 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 immersion, 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.

What will the Immersion students learn to do?

Communicate directly
with English and
Mandarin speaking
groups resulting in
bilingual language
proficiency in an international
Gain the cultural

of one who knows
what it is to have
two inner worlds
based in the roots
of two different
languages and
critical thinking
that will allow
them to analyze
messages or
between languages
and come to

Develop deep character,
with the ability to
understand two
different value
systems and ways of
Collaborate with
Chinese and English
speakers and create
bridges between
communities to the
benefit of both.
Creatively bring
together their bilingual worlds in
new and exciting
ways through a
variety of media.

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

How will immersion classes be aligned with the rest of elementary 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.

● 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

● Collaborative environments for personalized learning

● Readers and Writers Workshop

● Classroom libraries of leveled readers

Beginning August 2017, SAS will welcome 44 students into two full curriculum Chinese language immersion kindergarten classes. Each subsequent year, the program will grow to add additional grade levels.

Who are SAS's Chinese immersion class 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.

Language learning in middle and high school after immersion

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

Who should apply

Fluency in English is required for incoming kindergarten immersion students. Prior exposure to Chinese language is not required.

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.

How to apply

1. For current SAS families with a child in our early learning center, contact Sally Lean at for immersion placement information.

2. For new SAS applicants, you will indicate your official interest in immersion in the application. If you need more information, contact us at the email below.

3. Current and new SAS families applying to immersion must meet the criteria for eligibility described in this brochure. If you do and you are new or returning to SAS, you can access our application at Applications for new families will be considered based on priority lane, date of application, and completeness of application, and are subject to thorough review for general admission to SAS.

For more information, contact

A Culture of Excellence - A Culture of Extraordinary Care - A Culture of Possibilities
Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 • Singapore 738547 • TEL: +65 6363 3403 | CPE Registration Number: 196400340R | Registration Period: 22 June 2011 to 21 June 2017
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