Chinese Immersion Camp

CAIS Immersion Camp Summer 2020


Session 1: Dates June 22 - July 10*  |   Session 2: Dates July 13 - July 31

K - 8th Grade

Session 1: Dates June 15 - July 2*  |   Session 2: Dates July 6 - July 24

* No camp on Friday, July 3 to observe Independence Day

Happy Campers

Summer Camp Overview

Clay artThis summer, campers will be immersed in Chinese while learning about various traditional food cultures and nutrition, understanding the dietary needs from different cultural groups, and exploring the importance of food in culture. Beyond dumplings and green onion pancakes, our campers will be introduced to the historical evolution of food. Most importantly to the campers, they will be able to taste and replicate some of these traditional dishes and design some of their own!

No prior Chinese language skills are necessary to participate in this camp, but all participants must be entering between Pre-Kindergarten and eighth grade in the fall. Campers will be grouped by language proficiency as well as age to ensure that every child gets the most out of his or her experience.

Campers are encouraged to attend full sessions of the camp.



Making shave iceDuring each three-week session, students will experience Chinese language and culture through a wide variety of activites focusing on food. Each week provides a rich setting for learning and purposefully connects related topics, content, and skills. Through various design-thinking projects, campers will able to apply their language skills to their own fun creations and presentations. The learning is hands-on and is highly individualized, and the students will be able to develop language skills in all 3 modes of communication in Chinese: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.

Language acquisition will come naturally to your child as a result of their participation in immersion-based activities. Campers will be challenged to enhance their language skills through an increasingly intensive level of interaction with teachers and other campers. Teachers will focus on building campers’ confidence in speaking Chinese outside of camp. 



CAIS Immersion Camp is led by four of our world-class faculty members—Hsu-Kelkis Laoshi, Shyu Laoshi, and Su Laoshi —guiding a great group of instructors. 

Ya-Ching Hsu-Kelkis  

Ya-Ching Hsu-Kelkis  (許雅菁)

Ya-Ching Hsu-Kelkis holds an M.A. degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language granted by Middlebury College, and is currently teaching Chinese at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco. She has taught Chinese in immersion programs for 10 years (K-8) in the United States. She specializes in creating an enriched Chinese immersion environment for students to learn with fun and meaningful focus on higher order thinking skills. She has participated in many professional development programs focused on Chinese language proficiency, assessment, and curriculum design. During the past ten years, Ya-Ching has made presentations at ACTFL, CLTA, NCLC and STARTALK conferences, and presented a one-week workshop on immersion school teaching at National Taiwan Normal University.  In addition, Ya-Ching has served as a team member/ assessor for the California Independent Schools evaluation committee for Chinese/ foreign languages and has been involved in teacher training for over six years. 

Theresa Shyu  

Jing-Tyng (Teresa) Shyu

Jing-Tyng (Teresa) Shyu holds an M.A. degree in Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University, and is currently teaching at Chinese American International School in San Francisco. She has been teaching in immersion programs from Pre-K to third grade for 11 years. She is passionate about working with children and helping them learn in a happy, loving and safe environment. She has participated in many professional development opportunities in the Bay area and brought new and fun activities to her Chinese language classes.

Hsiao-Chi Su  

Hsiao-Chi Su

At CAIS for 15 years, Hsiao-Chi Su has taught 2nd through 5th grade classes, CAIS summer camp, and the StarTalk teacher training program. Currently teaching 2nd grade, she is an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) certified tester and has presented at many conferences and teachers workshops such as NCLC and Confucius Institute. In addition, she serves as a international program assistant coordinator for CAIS’s 5th grade Taiwan exchange program and was the instructional lead to help design the 2016 summer camp program.

Sharing her educational approach she explains, “I believe that learning in a fun and warm environment is key and making mistakes is okay. One of my biggest strengths is to make kids feel comfortable in my classroom. I like to try and bring fun and innovative activities to my classroom.”



Watercolor painting



Campers at this level either have no previous exposure to Chinese or have very limited knowledge of Chinese. They can usually recognize fewer than 50 Chinese characters. They are either unable to communicate in Chinese or able to communicate in isolated words on topics related to daily life or personal experience. 


Campers at this level have been exposed to Chinese consistently for more than one year. They can recognize more than 50 Chinese characters and write some Chinese characters. Campers generally respond to simple questions on the most common topics related to daily life such as greetings and self-introductions. Campers are generally able to converse in isolated words, lists of words, memorized phrases, and fragment discourses and have difficulties generating a complete sentence on their own. Campers at this level should have basic knowledge of content including numbers, colors, animals, and family members.


Campers at this level have been exposed to Chinese for more than one and a half years. They can recognize more than 100 Chinese characters and write simple Chinese characters and phrases. Campers can engage in simple and direct conversations related to daily activities and personal experience. Campers are generally able to communicate in formulaic sentences. Campers at this level have knowledge of content including numbers (time and calendar), colors, animals, family members, weather, seasons, food, time, and places.



Campers at this level have been exposed to Chinese consistently for approximately two years and recognize 100 or more Chinese characters. Campers can obtain and provide information in simple and direct conversations on topics related to daily activities and personal events. Campers are generally able to communicate in non-formulaic sentences and can combine language elements in sentences and produce strings of sentences. Campers are able to read and write in simple sentences in Chinese. Students at this level have knowledge in content areas such as numbers (time and calendar), colors, animals, family members, weather, seasons, food, time, and places.



Campers at this level have been exposed to Chinese consistently for more than two years and recognize more than 150 Chinese characters. Campers can participate in conversations in most informal and some formal settings on topics of personal experience. They are usually able to converse in non-formulaic and longer sentences. Campers are able to narrate and provide descriptions in logical time frames, and they can generally read and write in paragraphs. Campers at this level have knowledge in content areas including those listed in the upper-intermediate level as well as shoppping and dining.





Chinese Language

  • Learn essential daily conversation skills: e.g., hello, thank you, goodbye
  • Expand vocabulary skills so that students can address their teachers, classmates, and family members
  • Identify and name body parts in Chinese: e.g., head, eye, mouth, ear, eyebrow, shoulder, hand, foot
  • Name colors: e.g., red, black, blue, yellow, green
  • Count from one to ten
  • Practice rhythms to improve tonality and accent
  • Emphasize memorization through singing songs
  • Learn beginning characters: e.g., sun, moon, big, small
  • Introduction to writing strokes and stroke order
  • Play games

Chinese Reading and Writing

  • Introduce the development of Chinese characters
  • Familiarize students with the rules of creating characters
  • Introduce radical characters
  • Character development from pictograph to simple radical characters
  • Composition of Chinese characters
  • Read short stories, children’s rhythms, poetry, ancient legends, and myths

Chinese Math

  • Learn how to count from 1-100 in Chinese
  • Understand the terminology of Chinese mathematics
  • Exercise mental math skills
  • Learn to use an abacus, understand the historical context of the abacus in Chinese culture
  • Application of numbers including phone numbers, dates, and measurements

Chinese speaking

  • Read short stories
  • Recite poems and rhymes
  • Develop vocabulary to describe readings
  • Tonal practice

Chinese Math

  • Learn to count from 1-100 in Chinese
  • Familiarity with terminology of Chinese math
  • Reinforce mental math skills
  • Learn to use an abacus and understand the historical context of the abacus in Chinese culture

Chinese Language

  • In-depth instruction in daily conversations and classroom etiquette
  • Ability to introduce oneself: e.g., name, age, how many people in the family, likes, and dislikes
  • Continued study of simple phrases and Chinese sentence structures
  • Learn terminology for dates: year, month, day, week
  • Learn how to read and say the time: e.g., hour, minute and second
  • Learn weather-related terminology: e.g., sunny day, rainy day, cloudy day
  • Learn vocabulary to give directions: e.g., up and down, east, west
  • Learn common animals: e.g., cat, dog, horse, cow
  • Introduce simple characters: e.g., pronouns, yes, no, good
  • Continue to explore sentence patterns and idioms
  • Reinforcement of writing skills and ability to identify radicals



Ribbon dance

The following is a sample of variety of fun cultural enrichment campers will experience.

Brush Painting and Calligraphy Class

Campers will have an exceptional chance to explore the unique qualities of Chinese visual art with a highly experienced Chinese art teacher trained in both traditional Chinese and Western art. Emphasis will be placed on the simple pleasure of making images, while learning basic skills in Chinese painting, calligraphy, the use of Chinese ink, color, Xuan paper, and special brushes. The instruction will include an introduction to special characters that represent the spirit of Chinese culture.

Watercolor painting Chinese Arts and Crafts

Our campers will experiment with a variety of media to expand their knowledge of art and art theory. Having the Asian Art Museum as our neighbor allows us easy opportunites to visit the museum’s various exhibits and educational programs.

Chinese Martial Arts 

Campers will learn different basic methods of hand, leg and jumping movements— rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises, and stance—as well as Shaolin Elementary Changquan. Through the challenging process of learning Martial Arts, campers experience the physical benefits of the strengthening of their bodies and learning to defend themselves.

Chinese Cooking

Campers will have the opportunity to make, dumplings, green onion pancakes, egg rolls, and many tasty desserts.

Chinese Music and Movement

Chinese Music and Movement activities are filled with laughter and challenges. Campers will work on skills that are incorporated into new dances. They will leave with more flexibility, increased strength, an expanded imagination, and better self-confidence.  

Chinese Clay 

The class will cover pinching, rolling, pulling and cutting clay to create imaginative and functional pieces. Projects include hand built animals, houses, masks and holiday themed activities. Campers can learn to build vases, cups, platters or bowls. After we’ve finished building, campers will discover how to glaze and decorate their pots. 



Making dumplingsFor those families whose schedule requires an early morning drop off and evening pick up, we offer extended care prior to the start of camp and at the conclusion of the camp day.

Please Note:

  • Extended care ends at 6:00 p.m. If a camper is not picked up at that time, the parent will be charged a late fee of $20 plus $1 per minute. For example, a 6:05 p.m. pick up will be charged a $25 late fee.
  • Each of the extended care plan is for that session only. No money will be returned for unused hours. Drop-in care will be billed at the end of the session.



Chinese Immersion Camp Tuition 

Morning Care

7:30-8:00 a.m.


Full Session

8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Session 1: $1,300 per three-week session
Session 2: $1365 per three-week session

Due 30 days after registration.

Weekly Rate $500

Afternoon Care* Plan A

3:00-6:00 p.m.

$300 for three weeks

Registration Fee

$100 for each student

Due at time of registration

*The charge for drop in care is $30/day after 3:00 p.m.
**No childcare is available from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Waiting for ice cream to set 


May 1 Class confirmations, emergency forms, and first day procedures will be sent to families. Last day to request a cancellation and request a partial refund for Session One, 50% less $100 cancellation fee.
May 29

Registration deadline

June 1

All registrations received after date will be considered overdue and processed with a $100 late fee.

June 1

Last day to request a cancellation and request a partial refund for Session Two, 50% less $100 cancellation fee.

June 15 First day of Session One for K - 8th Grade
June 22 First day of Session One for PreK
July 3

Independence Day Observed (No Summer Camp - No Childcare)

July 2 Last day of Session One for K - 8th Grade
July 6 First day of Session Two for K - 8th Grade
July 10 Last day of Session One for PreK
July 24 Last day of Session Two for K - 8th Grade
July 31 Last day of Session Two for PreK

Bread making 


Registration for summer camp is administered through our online system. Tuition payments must be made by sending a check to: CAIS or Chinese American International School.

To Register and Pay

Registration is completed on a first come, first serve basis. If our camp is full, we will place your child on a waitlist. Your registration fee will be returned if your child is not admitted to camp.

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Lee, Director of Auxiliary Programs at 415-865-6010 or