Chinese Language and Culture Initiative

  • The Chinese Language and Culture Initiative at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES provides students across New York State the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese. Instrution provided in our courses is provided via Interactive Video Courses (IVC) to students at schools across New York State. This program has two distinct pathways for students:

    • Our Mandarin Chinese Course Sequence provides up to seven (7) years of New York State and ACTFL standards-based instruction for Mandarin Chinese. Student begin their language sequence in grade 6 or 7. 
    • High School Elective courses in Mandarin Chinese afford high school students the opportunity to study Chinese as a pure elective, either independent their study in other language(s) or to earn the Languages Other than English (LOTE) credit required for students to earn a New York State Diploma.

    In the past, this program has been supported, in part, by two grants from the US Department of Education, Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP). In fact, the OHM BOCES Chinese Language and Culture initiative was so successful in its onset, our organization was one of only twelve in the United States that were awarded a second FLAP grant. In addition, our Chinese program is one of just over 100 others in the United States that has been recognized as a member of the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Network.

Mandarin Chinese Course Sequence

  • The Chinese program in middle and high school is a sequential, standards-based program leading to developement of communication skills at the intermediate-high/advanced-low ACTFL proficiency levels. See the list below for additional details.
    • Level 1 – three years; culminates in Checkpoint A exam for proficiency. This qualifies students for one high school credit in New York State;
    • Level 2 – two years;
    • Level 3 – one year; culminates in a regents-equivalent Checkpoint B exam. Successful completion is accepted toward a Regents Diploma with advanced designation. The OHM BOCES Checkpoint B exam in Chinese is approved by NYSED as a 4+1 Pathways exam, providing students additional options and flexibility to meet the State's examination requirements for graduation.
    • Level 4/AP Chinese – one year; students who complete this level would be prepared for the AP Chinese exam. The AP Mandarin Chinese exam is also approved as a Checkpoint C examination. Students who successfully complete this course and examination are eiligilble for the State's Seal of Biliteracy. 
    The sequential program in Mandarin Chinese is longer than most other languages because Chinese is a tonal language and the characters using in reading and writing must be memorized over time. To illustrate, refer to the chart below:

    Level 1

    Level 2/3

    Level 4












    Arabic (all varieties)





High School Elective Courses

  • This is an exploratory High School elective for students who have completed a sequence in another language. This course afford students the opportunity to earn dual-credit; course credits from their school district as well as college credit from Mohawk Valley Community College and/or the community college from the school district's local region.
    • High School Elective I: This course parallels an experience from our 1a through our 1c sequential courses, albeit abbreviated. At MVCC, this course is offered at the 101/102 level and is worth a total of six (6) six college credits.
    • High School Elective II: This course parallels an experience from our 1c through our 2a sequential courses, albeit abbreviated. At MVCC, this course is offered at the 201/202 level and is also worth a total of six (6) six college credits.

    Confucius Day

Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Network

  • In 2010, the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Chinese program was accepted into the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Networ in recognition of the potential to build and sustain a high-quality Chinese language program.

    Chinese Partner School:
    One aspect of the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Network is assistance in building a partner relationship with a school in China. Our parnter school is the Chongqing-Bashu Middle School in Chongqing, China. In 2010, two representatives from this school visited Central New York, toured the schools and classrooms of Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and our component districts, and met with our Chinese faculty and local school administrators.
    In the Spring of 2010, our students sent more than 100 pictures and greetings to the Asia Society to be included in a book of greetings for Chinese President Hu Jin Tao upon his visit to Washington.
    In the Fall of 2012, two representatives of OHM BOCES attended the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Leaders Summit in Shanghai and then traveled to Chongqing to visit our partner school. We are actively pursuing options for student, teacher, and administrator visits to Chongqing.
    In the Spring of 2014, 2016, and 2018, OHM BOCES organized and hosted a student trip to China. The trips allowed students to be immersed in the Chinese culture, language, and history. Students have visited major cities such as Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, and Chongqing and seen some of its magnificent sites such as the Great Wall, Tianenmen Square, Summer Palace, the Terracotta Warriors. Likewise, students have been immersed into Chinese culture through dining at a variety of Chinese restaurants, attending performances of Beijing Opera and Kung Fu theatre, practicing Tai Chi, and spending time with students in their classes at our partner school.

    Unfortunatley, the 2020 student trip was cancelled due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, plans to continue offering the student trip to China every two years remain an important component of our program. 

    Other benefits of the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classroom Network:
    • Teacher travel and professional development (National Chinese Language Conference, webinars for teachers, Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Teachers Institute)
    • Materials and supplies for cultural activities
    • Participation in the Chinese Bridge Delegation
    • Scholarships for summer camp for students learning Chinese
    • Scholarships for teachers to attend professional development programs in China, and Provision of books, AV and multimedia materials and courseware
    • Provision of books, AV and multimedia, and other course materials