Learning about Paris

French students recently concluded a unit on Paris by recreating famous monuments with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students presented their completed masterpieces in French to the class by sharing the name, arrondissement, and various activities you can do at each monument! Bravo, les élèves !

Beijing Students

Our exchange students from Beijing have had a great time during their visit to Chicago! They have enjoyed visits to the Hancock building, the Art Institute, City Hall, the Chicago History Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium. A huge thank you to Ms. Aquino for all her hard work in organizing this exchange and to our host families for generously opening up their homes. We very much appreciate your support!

World Language Buddies

Our 8th graders have started a new program called “Language Buddies”, in which they are partnered with the 1st graders during their language class and help with the language learning. All the students have had a ton of fun so far!

LaSalle II Student Achievements on YCT/HSK Chinese Tests  

On the first day of this new school year, fifty-two LaSalle II Chinese language students were extremely excited as they received the certificates mailed from Beijing China for their YCT and HSK Chinese test results!  These results, from tests taken in mid-May, showed that our LaSalle II Chinese language students once again did a magnificent job!

Both YCT and HSK test series are international standardized tests designed, developed and implemented under the Office of Chinese Language Council International for young Chinese learners and for college students and other adults to rate their Chinese language proficiency levels.  For each single test of YCT and HSK, the test papers were prepared, printed and mailed from Beijing to test proctors in the countries around the world.  These closely monitored standardized tests were then collected and mailed back to Beijing for grading.

From LaSalle II’s founding year of 2008 to the year of 2017, we have seen a complete cycle of students passing from kindergarten through 8th grade.  From 5-year olds with no knowledge of Chinese to 13-year olds passing the adult level HSK IV, LaSalle II students have shown remarkable progress in their proficiency of Mandarin. And, by the way, passing HSK level 4 test is commonly a requirement for foreign students wanting to study in Chinese universities.

Students taking these tests, regardless of level, eagerly look forward to being able to demonstrate how well they understand and can use Mandarin. It is not just students passing the HSK level IV test that makes achievement seem so important but rather the steady improvement demonstrated by students passing higher and higher level tests year after year. In the year our students first took YCT tests, our third graders took YCT levels I and II. As students acquired greater proficiency in subsequent years, the highest level tests taken rose to III, then IV, and this past year to HSK level IV test. To see so many students rising to the challenge of making major improvements in their language skills each year is truly gratifying.

Our Chinese student achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of LaSalle II’s PTO and the strong support of LaSalle II’s administrators. On more than one occasion, the PTO and our school administrators have provided without hesitation needed financial help so that YCT/HSK test proctors’ expenses could be covered. Additionally one of our parents for two years in a row, donated test registration fees for students needing financial help.   We appreciate the help of everyone involved in making our LaSalle II Chinese Program one of the strongest in Chicago.

CPS Seal of Biliteracy

This year LaSalle II was selected as part of a pilot program and our 5th and 8th grade students had the opportunity to earn the CPS Seal of Biliteracy. In order to qualify, student had to demonstrate proficiency on the APPL test. This provides a pathway to the State Seal of Biliteracy that students can earn in 12th Grade.


Below is a list of students who earned the designation.


5th Graders:

  • Chinese: John L. and Kelli V.
  • French: Ivo H., Sara L., and Lyric N.
  • Spanish: Madelyn L., Grant L., Kylie O., Sabrina O., Dalton P., Daniel A., Melissa S., Sophia S., Erin Wheeler, Gabrielle Wilson, and Robert Zavala


8th Graders:

  • Spanish: Karla D., Angel A., and Eric S.

Spanish Exchange Students

Our exchange students from Madrid were here these past 2 weeks and we had a ton of fun! Our guests visited the Chicago History Museum, the Field Museum, Navy Pier, the Shedd Aquarium, and more! The students even got to attend our middle school dance.


A huge thank you to our host families for making this exchange possible and thank you to those who chaperoned. We know it is an exhausting but rewarding experience! Also, special thanks to our parent Captain Clay who arranged a special tour of his firehouse.

Midwest Chinese Student Speech Contest

We had several students participate in the 9th Annual Midwest Chinese Student Speech Contest. Students were required to recite a speech in Chinese and were judged on pronunciation, delivery, and expression. Our school had three participants and all of them earned a medal.

Gold: Gabby I. and Ruby V.
Silver: Danny M.

Congratulations to our participants! We are so proud of your hard work and dedication. Also thank you to Ms. Wang for taking the time to prepare and escort the students to the speech contest.ch Contest

Student Reflections from Trips Abroad

Trip To China

By Emma Z.
Just recently in November, five 8th grade students, including myself, went to Beijing, China! This was one of the greatest trips that we experienced! It was amazing practicing the language, trying new foods, and immersing ourselves in Chinese culture. During the week we were able to go sightseeing to places such as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall of China! The Great Wall was one of our favorite places to visit. It is one of the world’s seven wonders. It was originally built for protection against attacks from the North, and is almost 4,000 miles in length! We also loved trying Chinese food, especially some of the most famous meals- Beijing roast duck and hotpot! In addition, we participated in a few art classes, including making Chinese masks, using the mao bi brush, and Chinese painting. Over the weekend each of us stayed with our exchange students, where we could experience life in a Chinese family. Everyone at the Beijing Foreign Language School was so welcoming to myself and my classmates. We formed friendships with the staff at the school, the students, and even other students from two other Chicago schools who went with us to China! Over the course of two weeks, our Chinese speaking abilities improved, and we gained more confidence when speaking to people in China. The unforgettable trip made us all sad to leave, but very excited to return home and share our journey!


Trip To France

By Oscar S.

France was a beautiful country. I stayed with a family that lived in Angers by the chateau. The family was very nice and  kind. They have two sons, 12 and 16 years old. The family and I went to their friends’ house, a festival, and their grandparents’ house. One evening Ms. Sapieka and Ms. Aquino came to my families because a couple years ago the older brother came here and stayed with Ms. Aquino.  When they came over we had some special foods that we tried out, such as a blood sausage, and we liked them (note from Ms. Aquino – Oskar did a good job of trying all of the new foods at dinner).

When I was there I tried many different foods and kind of foods – for example, cheese, salami.  They were all delicious. One day all of the families met up and went bowling. Another day we met up one more time and went ice skating, which were both a great time.

LaSalle II students went to many different places. We visited the chateau of Angers, which was mostly made out of slate.  I was amazed how it was built and how it was improved over time. It was originally a fortress.  My host dad was an architect that designed some awesome things such as the museum in the chateau.  We also walked around town which had lots of old buildings and monuments still standing from the Middle Ages.  We also attended classes at College Mongazon, which is a private school.  The school also provided a private bus to take us to Mont Sant Michel and St. Malo in Brittany, about three hours north, for the day.  My favorite thing in Angers was when we visited their school and went to their classes to see what subjects they have and how they are taught.

Then we got to Paris.  We stayed at a nice hotel that had complimentary breakfast.  It was delicious. We visited some very famous places and things like the Louvre, Latin Quarter, Jardin Du Luxembourg, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees, the Sacré-Cœur, and the Eiffel Tower.

The most beautiful thing was the Eiffel Tower. When we were taking the elevator to the top it was really scary.  The wind was blowing very hard, and it was so cold. It soared in the sky, and I couldn’t believe that someone actually created it. My favorite thing in Paris was the Eiffel Tower and the view that it had on top of it.

Overall the weather was beautiful and everyone there treated us well. The trip was wonderful and a great experience.

LaSalle II Students in China!

We currently have students abroad in Beijing, China. We can’t wait to hear all about their exciting travels!

LaSalle II Students in France!

Currently we have students in Angers, France. They are having a great time and we cannot wait to hear all the details when they return!