To meet the different learning needs of students, YCIS Shanghai offers two Chinese learning tracks: Chinese as a First Language (CFL) and Chinese as an Additional Language (CAL).
CFL classes are available in two different levels, CFL-A and CFL-B. CFL-A classes use textbooks that are specially developed by the Yew Chung Education Foundation. They include both traditional and simple Chinese characters and maintain the standard of Chinese as a first language. The learning materials that are used by CFL-B classes provide simple Chinese character lessons and an appropriate modification to the teaching materials. Verbal communication plays an important role in both classes, with text and vocabulary closely aligned to a student's daily life and experiences.
There are three levels in CAL in Secondary Section (levels 1 through 3). Students in CAL classes will learn Chinese through themes.
The school's Key Stage 3 English course is a skills-based course designed to engage and challenge students through the study of a wide variety of texts and mediums, and by participation in active learning activities. Each year's course, building on the contents and skills developed in previous years, provides an important step in the preparation of students for the study of English at IGCSE level.