Middle school is an important learning period for our young adolescents, as they discover individual passions and strengths that will influence university and life choices while managing the emotional and social developments of early adulthood.
At ISHCMC – American Academy's international middle school in Ho Chi Minh City, we provide a balanced American educational program so that each child can grow to their full potential. Our teaching methods and rigorous assessments aim to develop students’ higher thinking and reasoning skills that will drive them to success in high school, university and beyond.
Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments offer U.S. standardized testing in English Reading and Mathematics. Every middle school student at ISHCMC – American Academy takes MAP® twice a year – once in the Fall and once in the Spring – to measure each student’s individual progress from year to year and throughout an academic year. In 2015, over 65% of our middle school students achieved above the worldwide standards in grade level Math in their MAP® tests.
These personalized assessments enable us to understand each student’s unique strengths and areas for improvement. Our highly experienced teachers deliver individualized learning plans to ensure all our students are academically ready for high school, where standardized assessments in English and Math play a key role in the university admissions process.
A comprehensive understanding of the English language is essential to a successful start at overseas universities, which is why at ISHCMC – American Academy we focus on full immersion in the English language. Core content teachers in mathematics, social studies and science integrate language learning across the curriculum to ensure our students understand the distinctive academic language that will be critical to success in their high challenge university programs. Students also communicate and socialize with their peers and teachers entirely in English.
We provide free English language support for non-native speakers through our English as an Additional Language (EAL) program. Benchmarked against U.S. standards in English and based on the World-Class Instructional Design and AssessmentTM (WIDATM) framework and assessments, our structured EAL program progresses students through 6 stages of the language acquisition process until they reach a proficiency level equivalent to that of a native speaker.
No single element of learning works in isolation, which is why our teaching methods go beyond the classroom to provide real-life contexts and first-hand experiences. All ISHCMC – American Academy students participate in multi-day field trips across Southeast Asia each year to innovate, create and lead within the curriculum of core academic themes. With annual participation, our students build the ability to lead their own experiences while understanding the real-life application of academics. Our World History students, for example, visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia to learn about ancient and modern civilizations, and our Grade 12 trip culminates with a jungle trek to the third largest cave in the world, located in Vietnam's stunning Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Using the Positive Education model, our Field Studies Program is tied to our commitment to development of the whole child. Every trip offers students a chance to engage with the local community in a meaningful way and enrich their cultural understanding of the country, while gaining leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills. Following this program, ISHCMC - American Academy students affirm they are more likely to participate in community service, take risks and are more confident in their ability to succeed.
Such is the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in work and life, it is our role as 21st century educators to teach our students to use technology confidently, responsibly and constructively. Our state-of-the-art Video Production Suite, equipped with a professional green screen, studio lighting, and the latest audio-visual system, allows our students to explore filmography and video editing skills while developing their journalism and English communication skills.
Our 1:1 laptop program, a teaching model replicated by leading secondary schools worldwide, equips our students with the skills for effective communication, research, and individual project management. Our highly experienced teachers integrate technology across the curriculum, with lessons enhanced through the use of Promethean Smart Boards, access to two computer labs and the latest electronic research tools.
The ability to communicate in multiple languages is crucial for success in today’s global business community. At ISHCMC – American Academy, our students have a competitive edge in preparation for this new economy through our extensive World Languages Program. Mandarin, the most widely spoken language globally, is taught by a Chinese native specialist who has a Master’s Degree in teaching Mandarin as a second language. Our rigorous Mandarin program requires students to take the HSK examinations, an international standardized assessment with over 30 years’ history evaluating non-Chinese individuals’ Mandarin language proficiency. All middle school students take Vietnamese Studies, studying Vietnamese Literature, History and Geography to enrich their cultural understanding of the country we live in.
At ISHCMC – American Academy we start planning for higher education as soon as they join us. From 6th grade, we help our students to focus on their study skills, academic grades and involvement in extracurricular activities. Toward the end of middle school, we start to tailor subject choices and activities to match their path to university. We also offer an afterschool homework support club, where our dedicated teachers provide the expertise and structure students need to concentrate better and produce higher quality work. Through this program, students learn to manage their time effectively and gain important leadership skills from mentoring other students with their homework.