As a truly international school based in China, everyone in the CIS community values the importance of multiple language learning. Although Mandarin is not required in the Alberta (Canada) Curriculum, Mandarin has been an important part of the curriculum ever since Canadian International School of Guangzhou first founded in 2012.


With students from more than 40 countries around the world, CIS is a small but strong global community. One of our main goals at CIS is to cultivate global citizens with a deep understanding of Chinese culture. To better become internationally-minded, we believe that studying more about our host country and culture is key. 

The richness and diversity of our college communities is such that the full spectrum of linguistic ability in Mandarin is found within our student body. Our students range from complete beginners to those with fully age-appropriate native-language literacy skills. To meet the learning needs of each student, the CIS Mandarin curriculum employs two pathways:


Mandarin A: Chinese as a Native Language

Students in this pathway acquired Mandarin as their first language at home and/or in schools where Mandarin was the instructional medium. English is typically their second language. Their home environment is typically Mandarin speaking.

Within the pathway, the classroom language used by both teacher and students is Mandarin. The focus for students is to further develop their skills of analysis and evaluation using a variety of Chinese literary texts, and to develop their practical and creative writing skills. Students in this pathway are strongly suggested to read sufficient Chinese books, magazines and newspapers to reinforce their literature comprehension skills.

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Mandarin B: Mandarin as a Foreign Language

This pathway is for non-native/non-heritage students. From an initial stage, the course places a greater emphasis on functional skills in listening, speaking and reading, while students in this pathway use the CIS Mandarin curriculum and website resources to support their learning. It is recommended that students practise the skills learnt in the classroom within the wider community and in authentic language usage settings