Published on: 27 June 2014

Year 8 Chinese (Mandarin) classes visited the Preparatory School this week to share stories they had created on their iPads with Pre-Primary and Year 2 boys.

Language teacher Phillipa Nock said the Year 8 students, who had been learning how to describe animals, were tasked with creating a picture storybook on their pet or an animal written in Chinese characters.

Ms Nock said giving the boys and audience a purpose had really excited the Year 8 students. “The boys worked enthusiastically on their books and knowing they would be presenting them to the Prep School boys was a great motivator for them,” she said.

The Year 8s shared their books with the Prep School Chinese classes in pairs, with one student reading in Chinese and the other providing gestures to help convey the meaning of the story without using English. Some books even included sound bites, allowing the young readers to touch the screen to hear various animal noises.

The Year 8 students also performed some songs and poems for the young boys, requiring audience participation.

Prep School Chinese teacher Li Liu said the experience allowed the Prep boys to see what they could achieve in their future learning as they progressed through the School’s language program.

“The storytelling really gave the Pre-Primary boys an opportunity to revise and expand on what they have learnt in their lessons, such as numbers, colours and animals, in an interactive and fun way. They all really enjoyed the time with the Year 8 boys and would love to see them again,” Ms Liu said.

Some comments from the Year 2 boys included:

“I really liked the sound of the frog-poootooong.”
“My favourite part was the picture of the fish and counting how many things they have.”
“I liked watching the Year 8 boys dance.”
“My favourite part is dancing with the big boys.”

The Prep School offers a comprehensive Chinese language program for all students from Pre-Primary to Year 6. All boys have two lessons a fortnight.