Published on: 17 October 2014

Preparatory School Chinese teacher Li Liu said the response from students, staff and parents to the introduction of the Mandarin language program for all boys in Pre-Primary through to Year 6 had been overwhelmingly positive.

Ms Liu, who joined Christ Church at the start of 2014, said her goal for the program across all year groups was to give boys a hands-on, fun and positive learning experience while developing their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture.

“I feel like I am achieving this and it is wonderful to see boys coming into the Chinese classroom each week excited about their lessons,” she said.

Ms Liu said technology played a huge part across all year levels. From Year 2, all boys bring their iPads to Chinese lessons where they use a variety of engaging apps to develop their writing, listening, speaking and role-playing skills.

“As the boys only have two lessons a fortnight, we also use Edmodo (social learning platform) to share and access class material, assessments and to communicate in between lessons,” she said.

From Pre-Primary to Year 3, the boys focus on greetings, numbers, families, colours, animals, nationalities and food. In Years 4 to 6 the boys continue to explore greetings, numbers including birthdays and dates, families and nationalities but in greater detail. Practical learning activities include making Chinese characters using play dough, singing, watching videos and a favourite with all classes – kung fu panda dancing.

To further engage boys across the year groups, Ms Liu has arranged a number of activities and incursions from dumpling making and kung fu lessons to cultural excursions to the Confucius Institute, a Chinese medicine clinic and a China Town tour in Northbridge including a yum cha lunch.

Other in class activities have included learning Chinese board games and Chinese paper card making with MLC students; having Senior School Chinese students visit classes to read books, sing and dance with Pre-Primary to Year 2 boys; and co-curricular club offerings in Chinese board games and Chinese calligraphy.