为什么就读MPIS,对准备申请美国大学的学生来说很重要?  

2016-08-23

                                                                       Why is it important for my child to attend Marco Polo International  School?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

如果一个学生计划申请一所美国大学,充分的准备是非常重要的。这个准备包括很多内容,远远超出简单地掌握良好的英语能力。而且,美国学校的学习评分制度与中国的学习评分制度有很大不同。因此,我们的目标不仅仅是让学生进入一所优秀的美国大学,而是让他们在常规的四年学习期后,顺利走出大学(意味着毕业)。因此,以下为我们可以帮助学生的关键领域:

语言:

通过在MPIS的高中学习,学生将大大提高他们的英语水平。在这里,课程将以英文进行讲授,学生的作业也都以英文方式完成,全英文环境将贯穿所有的学科——数学、科学(物理、化学、生物)以及社会科学等。可以说,在这里所有的课程都将是英语课。所以,学生的听、说、读、写四方面语言能力都将在MPIS得到充分发展。当他们进入美国的大学时,学生们的过渡期和适应期会变得简单顺畅。他们不会因为英语困难而学业落后,相反的,他们会在美国大学生活、学习、工作得舒适、舒心。

思维方式:

事实上,语言本身并不是中国学生在就读美国大学时面对的主要困难,不同的思维方式才常常是学生们遇到的挑战。大学教授们并不希望学生只是简单地重复教师或其他同学在课堂的发言。所以学生们需要拥有自行思考的能力,必须证明自己深入、独立的思考了课堂上的讨论主题,并得出自己的思考结论。与此同时,学生需要知道如何运用例子和证据来证明、支持自己形成的结论。换句话说,教授们并不是太关心学生们的结论,他们更多关心的是学生们如何思考以及如何论证。

MPIS,我们将教会学生这样的思维方式,那么日后他们对大学学习方式的调整和适应将会容易很多。

方法:

美式课堂与中式课堂的教学方法常常有很大区别,外教们的授课方式常常会在中国学生的眼里看起来有点奇怪。因为他们并不总是直接灌输给学生们知识,而是通过问开放式的问题来引领学生讨论(这些问题的答案至少有两个可能性),学生必须回答并为自己的答案辩护。另一种更先进的方法是,教师针对一个有争议的主题组织课堂辩论,学生需要进行团队合作来完成课题。因此学生需要学会如何进行团队协作,以及确定课题目标。学生也将做独立的研究,并必须学习如何正确地引用他们的资源来支持研究。

文化:

一个宽泛但重要的领域需要学生们熟悉的,是美国(西方)基本文化。在每天的学习生活中,老师们会提到一些美国等西方国家的人们了解、但是中国学生并不知道的事情。这些与文化有关的内容有可能通过音乐、电影、体育运动、当地新闻、热点话题等方式来进行传播。中国学生有可能因为不了解美国文化而产生迷惑和不解,但是在老师的帮助下, MPIS的学生们会逐渐地对美国(西方)文化熟悉起来。