Last Friday, our middle school students were treated to a special presentation by writer Briar Grace-Smith, who is visiting Guangzhou as a writer-in-residence at Sun Yat Sen University.
A new model of education is emerging around the world and ISA is one of the schools at the forefront of this change.
Since China’s opening-up policy took effect in the 1990s, international schools for foreign students have grown exponentially in China. Up until now, English has been the most desirable language of instruction for most of these schools. Parents believed that English was the ‘gateway language’, to gain access to schools and universities in the top three destinations: USA, UK and Australia. With the rise of China as an economic success story, the situation has changed. Chinese is now emerging as an equally powerful gateway language. Around the world, people want to learn Chinese, study in China, do business with China and understand the culture and customs of China.
An increasing number of Chinese families are now able to enrol their children in international schools. But, Chinese families do not want their children to gain an international education at the expense of their mother tongue language and cultural roots. Foreign families want their children to become fluent speakers of Chinese and to feel at home in Chinese culture. A blend of the best of East and West is required to prepare students for the future. ‘International’ does not mean ‘being Western’ or ‘becoming Western’. A truly international education is needed to equip students for the future.