Two-Way Chinese Immersion Program (CIP) at West Portal

All CIP students are expected to meet or exceed academic content standards and performance standards in English. In addition, the students are expected to develop bicultural competence while becoming bilingual and bi-literate. CIP teachers use many second language acquisition techniques and a vast repertoire of instructional strategies as they cover the curriculum. Opportunities to speak, listen, read, and write are provided throughout the school day in order to facilitate language development in both English and Chinese.

Chinese is used in teaching math, science, and social studies from Kindergarten through the Third Grade. Instructional time in English is increased at the Fourth and Fifth Grade levels.

The Value of Immersion Education

Immersion educational programs create a positive bilingual environment to promote high academic achievement in both English and in a target language. In addition to language acquisition, one of the goals is to develop cross-cultural knowledge and awareness for all students. Language learning takes place primarily through content instruction.

Knowledge of more than one language and culture will enable our students to fully participate in a culturally diverse society and in an increasingly global economy. Nearly three decades of research on immersion education show that immersion learners benefit cognitively, academically and socially. The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) offers more than half a dozen elementary and middle school immersion programs in languages that include Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Spanish.

Instruction Time - Chinese/English

Kindergarten and 1st Grades 80% / 20%

2nd and 3rd Grades 70% / 30%

4th and 5th Grades 50% / 50%

Program Goals

The program goals are to:

  1. Develop proficient English language skills
  2. Develop bilingual and bi-literate skills in English and Chinese language
  3. Meet or exceed academic content standards and performance standards
  4. Develop knowledge and appreciation for Chinese and other cultures

Facts About Our Program

Achieving Excellence - West Portal’s Chinese Immersion Program was founded by parents in 1984. As a SFUSD Model School, educators and representatives from various academic institutions visit, observe, and learn from our exemplary program. Our students rank among the District’s top performers. Current School Accountability Report Cards and standardized test scores are posted online at www.

Staff - All of our teachers are native Chinese speakers with years of experience in immersion education. As a team, teachers and administrator create a caring, stimulating and supportive environment for children to learn.

Student Population - We have a diverse student population in our Chinese Immersion Program. Our students come from English-speaking, Chinese-speaking, bilingual, and multilingual families.

Support for Parents -

  • Quarterly CIP Community meetings
  • Parents’ workshops
  • Technology / Internet resources
  • Take home resources

Parent Participation - Our students thrive academically and socially while their families feel connected to our school community.

Parents are our most valuable and important resource. Their involvement is vital to the success of the Chinese Immersion Program. Volunteers help in the classrooms, work on special events such as the Lunar New Year Parade, and participate in the West Portal Parent Club. Their fundraising efforts help purchase supplementary materials and staff the various school programs.