“ To continue studying Mandarin is important to me because I think and dream in both English and Mandarin, which means greater variety. To stop studying my Mother Tongue would mean losing one of the constants in my life and a vital part of my culture.”
At GCSE level, the study of Mandarin is practically based and develops the skills necessary to understand and to communicate in the language studied. At Key Stage 3, basic knowledge of Chinese language and culture will be introduced, for example:
- Pinyin and tone marks
- Radicals and stroke orders for students to comprehend characters and handle the pronunciation and intonations
- Fundamental knowledge of Chinese geography, history and culture.
Simplified characters and pinyin are the main form in the text. Four language skills are taught through thematic units, task-based activities and ICT.
Extracurricular activities are offered throughout the year. At Key Stage 4 topics that relate to students’ own experience and needs, such as the family, school, languages, travel, etc. will be taught. Lessons are taught largely in Mandarin and regular use is made of the IT Suite. Four language skills are focused on through the teaching and learning. Students start to pick up and understand longer and more complicated passages and authentic materials. Formal and informal language will be introduced and students will be encouraged to use it independently. Students are encouraged to use Chinese with the teacher within and beyond the class. The class is conducted using a communicative approach and uses task-based activities.
- After school club for all Keys stages
- Chinese New Year Celebration
- Annual China trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Xi’an
- Regular conversation lessons with native Chinese speaker
- Visit to East Asian Museum
- Visit to Chinese restaurant
- Speaking competition