At Huili School Hangzhou, our unique approach to language acquisition comprises of a 50% split between exposure to Chinese and English, fostering bilingualism and biliteracy in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Huili pupils are able to make the intercultural and linguistic transitions seamlessly, whether it be for study, business or leisure.
Today, we have Hanni from grade 9 to tell us what it is like to be a bilingual learner at Huili School Hangzhou. Hanni joined the school in the founding year and is also the recipient of a Huili academic scholarship.
Starting in Grade 7, I became a bilingual student at Huili. Before that, like many other Chinese children, I was studying in a typical Chinese primary school. So, I have the ability to tell the benefits of attending a bilingual school in China.
First of all, we learn a second language in an immersive environment. When I was at primary school, I only received three English lessons per week. After the class, we had to do lots of exercises in order to remember all those vocabulary and grammar. That was not fun at all. However, in a bilingual school, we study maths, science and even PE in English. We learn English and we use it. It becomes a part of our life.
Secondly, we can continue our Chinese learning. Studying English as a second language does not mean Chinese is no longer important. Actually, studying Chinese at Huili is quite joyful. We are more focused on writing and reading. Our teacher will encourage us to think differently and develop our own opinion. We have lots of activities, such as the Chinese New Year Gala and Mid-Autumn Festival. We put a lot of effort into them which helps us to understand our own culture.
Third, bilingual Education can help us to understand other cultures and traditions. Bilingual education is not only learning a language. We get to explore other countries’ history, literature, sport, music, and even their cuisine. We have two ways of looking and talking about things. This broadens our knowledge of the world and helps us to break down the culture barriers.
Last but not least, we can have more time to be with our family. It is easier for me to start my junior high school at Huili rather than study abroad straight away. I enjoy the time to be with my parents and my little brother. We can cook, shop and watch TV together.
I am so happy I can be a bilingual student. I can continue with my Chinese study, and I can now speak and understand English very well. Many of my teachers and classmates are from all over the world, I have no difficulty communicating with them. I learned how to appreciate and love people of other cultures. I feel more prepared to start my university later abroad.
Ms. Laura Perry, Head of Junior High at Huili, speaks very high of Hanni. She believes that Hanni has an exceptional outlook to both her academic studies and additional activities that she participates in, always willing to volunteer and progress her leadership skills. Performing in assemblies and showcase celebrations, her role as a performing arts ambassador, and taking on the leadership of the grade 7 sleepover are additions to her school life that don’t detract, but simply add to her focus and dedication to her academic work. Hanni displays the Huili School values in every action and interaction that she participates in and as a school we are extremely proud of the young woman that she is becoming.