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"Ma Liping Chinese" Curriculum Resource Center

by American Chinese School,  Rockville Maryland

The American Chinese School established its Program of Ma Liping Chinese Curriculum (short for MLP Program) in fall 2005-06 school year.  We began with two classes, about 30 students.  As of fall 2014-15 school year, the program has expanded to include 27 classes from Kindergarten through Grade 10, plus SATII/AP Chinese, with 34 teachers and assistant teachers and nearly 450 students attending classes.

In just a few years, the fast-growing demand for more classes let to the rapid expansion of the Program, which may be attributable to the practicality as well as the attraction of the Ma Liping Chinese curriculum that are being accepted by more and more Chinese parents.  More importantly, the major push comes from the teachers of the Program who work together as a tightly-knit team in experimenting an innovative and effective set of teaching techniques.  The Program's practice of organization and communication procedures has won approval among Chinese parents and proven successful. 

For an excellent curriculum to truly excel, those who teach it in a way that brings the best of the curriculum to students and to the parents are a decisive factor.  In the past years, it is under this principle that our program focused on bringing all teachers to the same level of appreciation for, and understanding of, the curriculum, on teacher training, and on effectively implementing the curriculum.  We  achieved our goals of making all teachers comprehend the essence of the curriculum, learn effective and motivational teaching techniques, and act in unity as one body.  It is not surprising that, through the words of mouth, Chinese parents in the community were quickly drawn to our program for our excellent teachers, our excellent outcome, our happy students, and our satisfied parents, before they have even seen the textbook!

The expansion of the Program pushed the teacher training onto the top priority of school management.  For this, the Program director, Dr. Diana Wobus, organized a whole host of teaching techniques, student management strategies, class organization skills, and her experience of drawing strength from the East and the West into a system.  She established a web network using Cloud Computing techniques to disseminate her system to benefit all teachers and parents using the MLP textbooks.  The system has played an important role in teaching the language, raising student motivation, maintaining self-esteem and confidence, and promoting parent involvement.

Dr. Wobus, aka Zhang lao-shi (Teacher Zhang), created a cloud-based teacher workshop offering training and support to teachers.  Teachers participating in the workshop receive guidance as broad as the curriculum design and as detailed as lesson plans and delivery strategies.  The workshop lends support to teachers as they draw experience from previous teachers, including specific teaching aids from lesson to lesson.

The workshop has helped both experienced and new teachers to reach the same level of understanding the curriculum and to grasp effective teaching strategies.  Our teachers shoulder heavy tasks involved in the teaching and they must meet many requirements of the Program--the extra burden.  Yet, in the past years, except for family or qualification reasons, no teacher has left the Program to teach at other schools to avoid extra work or for higher pay by other schools.  The main reason of this kind of dedication among our teachers is that our teachers find themselves work in a program that is highly organized, has expectations and standards, lends resources and help, and offers caring and team binding.  The teachers can learn and practice a set of effective teaching skills.  When one is in need, the teachers come to rescue.  The teachers witnessed how actively their students learn and how happy their students are, how understanding and cooperative their parents are under their teaching.  Every one gets a strong sense of happiness, achievement, and satisfaction!

Currently, all new teachers joining ACS are required to participate in the workshop and receive on-going training and support through each school year.  Teachers in other schools are also participating in the workshop to benefit from our experience.  As our dedication to contributing to the Chinese community, Dr. Wobus's workshop encourages all MLP curriculum teachers to participate by contacting Dr. Wobus (zhanglaoshihao@gmail.com) and applying for workshop membership (Visit Teacher Workshop on the side panel).

The MLP Program at American Chinese School encourages Chinese-speakers to join our teaching team.  All hired teachers receive highly-effective training and on-the-job support.  To become a teacher at ACS, please contact our school (visit school website).

Ma Liping Chinese Program


Teaching & Curriculum AdvisorDr. Ma Liping
Correspondence    Invitation

This Resource Center is dedicated to serving 
all of American Chinese School campuses
all teachers, parents, and students using MLP textbooks


Parent Center

An Introduction to "Ma Liping Chinese" textbook series
Characteristics of "Ma Liping Chinese" Curriculum

Question: Why MLP Curriculum teach "Journey to the West" in Grade 5?
Answer: Words from Dr. Wobus (in Chinese)
                Words from 5th grade teacher (in Chinese)

Question:Why do MLP textbooks seem so difficult?
Answer:Many adults even teachers have an impression, when opening a MLP textbook, that it's difficult.  Any of the three reasons may apply. 

One, if you have not seen the previous textbook in the series, you have little idea how content and knowledge is connected among textbooks nor will you know what has been taught in lower grades.  In fact, if you view all textbooks starting at Grade 1, you will get the picture that all content is closely connected, and that as long as your child follows all steps and modules and completes all homework assignments, it's not that hard. 

Two, the traditional concept of learning Chinese in the head of most adults prevents parents into believing that children can learn so much in so short time.  Once the learner climbs over hills after hills of the curriculum following the teacher, you will less likely to think the curriculum as too hard to learn.  However, to reach this point requires students completing all homework assignments with parents' effective supervision. 

Three, the target learners of MLP curriculum are those students who already understand and speak Chinese at home as heritage Chinese, not a second language.  If your child can not at least understand Chinese at home and the family can not provide a continuing language environment, learning will become increasingly difficult as grades progress.  You may consider not using this curriculum rather than 'forcing' your child into learning this curriculum.  Parents must understand the nature and purpose of the MLP curriculum and have appropriate expectation of their child as well as the conditions the family can provide for the child.  To determine if the MLP curriculum is right for your child, please read here.

Question:Why doesn't MLP Curriculum teach nor require writing in lower grades?
Answer:Dr. Wobus chats with parents on curriculum design, structure, and goals (in Chinese)

Teacher's Words

WEBnization of our teaching
The MLP Chinese classes are gradually migrating to information age and WEBnization!  Parents please get ready to join the cutting edge of modern institutional organization to benefit your child. Why?
  • After opening a Google account and obtaining a Gmail box address, if you no longer need the old mailbox to communicate with your child's teacher, please use "unsubscribe"to remove your old mailbox from the class list or email the teacher.
  • If you want to keep your current mailbox but would like to add your new Gmail box to the class list, please give your Gmail address a Nickname, so as to let the teacher know which address belongs to which family, such as “Jennifer Liu”, or “Jannifer Liu's parent" or ”Jennifer Liu's dad".