Why is it important for my child to attend Marco Polo International School?
（以上问题由外方校长John F. Larner博士解答，下拉可查看中文翻译。）
If a student is planning to attend an American university, it is extremely important that the student be well prepared. This preparation goes far beyond simply having a good command of English. There are many different ways in which students in America work in school than in China. Our goal therefore is not simply to get the students into an excellent American university, but to get them out of the university (meaning to graduate) on time – within the normal period of four years. So the key areas that we can help students in are the following:
LANGUAGE: By studying in English at MPIS during the high - school years, the students will improve their level of English greatly. Classes will be taught in English; students will do their work in English. All four areas of language skills will be developed – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. And this is true in all subject areas – mathematics, the sciences, the social sciences. In many ways, all classes will also be English classes. Students will be comfortable living and working in English when they arrive at an American university, so their transition and adaptation will be smooth and easy. They will not fall behind in their class work because of any difficulties with English.
THINKING: However, the language by itself is not the main difficulty Chinese students face in an American university; it is often the different way in which students are expected to think. Students need to be able to think for themselves. University professors do not want students to simply repeat what has been said by the teacher or another student in class. Students must demonstrate that they have thought deeply and independently about the topics discussed in class. They must also then arrive at their own conclusions, their own ideas. And then they have to know how to justify or support their conclusions by using examples and citing the evidence that has allowed them to form their conclusion. In other words, professors will not be so concerned about WHAT students think; they will be much more concerned about HOW students think and how they can JUSTIFY their thinking. At MPIS we teach our students how to work in this way so that their adjustment to university work will be easier.
METHODS: Classroom methods are often quite different between China and the U.S. Teachers will often instruct classes in a way that seems awkward to Chinese students. Teachers do not always directly lecture students. Instead, teachers will lead discussions by asking open-ended questions (questions that have more than one possible answer)and students must then respond and defend their ideas. A more advanced notion of this is if the teacher organizes a debate in class around a difficult topic. Students will many times work in groups to complete a project. Students must then learn how to work well in a group and how to define the goals of the project. Students will also do independent research, and have to learn how to properly cite their use of resources while doing the research.
CULTURE: A broader but still important area for students to become familiar with is general culture. In every day experiences, Americans will make reference to many things that Americans know, but that a Chinese student may not know. This could have to do with movies, music, sports, local events, popular topics on the news, etc. Chinese students may be lost and not understand if they are not familiar with many of these aspects of American culture. Our teaching staff will also be making references to such topics, and in this way the students will become familiar with such ideas during the time they attend MPIS.