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Yinghua Academy - Create Different and Innovative Forms of Measuring Learning Outcomes

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Since the spring of its first year, in May 2007, Yinghua has hosted Academic Performances for parents. Students show what they know including presentations in Chinese and English and group projects in science and social studies.  In K and 1, students present only in Chinese. Parents of 2nd through 4th graders visit Chinese and English classrooms. Grade 5-8 families visit science, Chinese Language Arts and English Language Arts classrooms with presentations in each room.

Yinghua Academy MCA and NWEA test scores as well as standardized Chinese test results show that good learning is taking place at the school. Yet, rigorous language and subject-matter assessments need to be interactive. Yinghua created "Academic Performances," a dynamic method to assess Chinese skills and adapted the method to test science and English mastery. This is project-based learning with a bilingual/biliterate twist.

A first grade example follows. Each fall, first graders visit an Asian grocery store to practice fruit shopping vocabulary. During Academic Performances, parents pile into classrooms to shop in student-led fruit markets with hand-made Chinese signage. Students use their best promotional skills (in Chinese) to entice parents to buy grapes or apples and practice math (in Chinese) when making change.

The Academic Performances offer parents a remarkable window into language-acquisition. Parents likely don't know exactly what their children are saying (fewer than 6% speak Chinese), but they witness student-to-student communication and real-world language usage. The school devotes two days each spring to parent visits in 30 immersion homerooms as well as science and English classes.

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