Mandarin Chinese Language
Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. Around one fifth of the world’s population, with more than one billion people who speak some form of Chinese as their native language.
At Mount Kelly School Hong Kong, Chinese language learning involves giving pupils opportunities to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves in Chinese, supporting both native and non-native speakers of Mandarin with a tailored and individualised programme.
Through both the Preschool and the Prep School, we aim for our pupils to:
• Understand and respond to spoken and written language
• Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, and continually improve their pronunciation
• Write at varying lengths using a variety of grammatical structures
• Develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language
• Make appropriate links to other subjects and acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand to a rich range of authentic spoken and written material
• Raise pupils’ intercultural awareness and develop good understanding of Chinese culture and communities
• Step beyond cultural boundaries and broaden pupils’ horizons of seeing the world.
In all year groups, pupils will have a daily Chinese language lesson with our dedicated native speaking Mandarin teachers. The Chinese language programme at Mount Kelly School Hong Kong incorporates both interactive classroom based activities, as well as online activities and using readers.
The pupils will also have many opportunities to explore Chinese culture in Mandarin lessons. They will learn about Chinese festivals including the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival.
In Mandarin language lessons, our teachers use a lively, interactive approach. Our teaching style is fun, multi-sensory and highly interactive. The emphasis is on pupils’ enjoyment and plenty of oral practice, which are the best ways to allow pupils to excel at language. Employing visual, auditory and kinaesthetic methods in teaching and learning ensures that all pupils are involved in the enjoyment of language acquisition.
Actions accompany words to help with vocabulary learning and the teaching is largely done through play activities, which develops pupils’ passion and love in learning Chinese language and discovering Chinese culture.
Mandarin classes are blended into the structured Preschool environment. Every day, our native-speaking Chinese teacher leads a Chinese language class. In addition, the teacher works together with the class teachers to deliver Mandarin language games and cultural activities for the pupils to access in rotation.
Adopting a story approach, children are provided with a meaningful context of the language and encouraged to listen to and speak Chinese as much as possible. Storytelling and story reading, as well as various play activities create a fun, rich and anxiety-free language environment, which stimulates children’s interest and creativity.
Children will start getting familiar with the sounds and meaning of words and sentences by listening to Chinese songs, poems, nursery rhymes and stories, which is a natural way for children to learn the language. By the end of nursery, children are expected to be able to speak and understand high frequency words in their daily life.
While continuing the development of children’s listening and speaking skills, Chinese character recognition and writing will be introduced in the reception year. Children are encouraged to start writing basic strokes that form Chinese characters through drawing, colouring and other play activities. This will not only boost children’s fine motor skills but also encourage good concentration. When learning to read characters, the children are encouraged to use their imagination to make visual associations and draw pictographic character.
While providing a good balance of spoken and written language, the focus of study will be on practical communication. Pupils will learn and use vocabulary that closely connects to their daily life and interdisciplinary studies. The main topics of learning include:
Year 1-2: numbers, greeting, colours, animals, self and family, school and friends.
Year 3-4: appearance, nature, travel, sports and activities, social relationships
Year 5-6: feelings, personal characteristics, cities, communities and urban life, environments, entertainment and social events
With sound knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, pupils will be able to actively engage in age appropriate conversation as well as be able to read carefully and show good understanding of short text passages in Chinese.
Entertaining and interactive classroom activities, such as music, movement, singing, dramatic play, puppets, dancing, storytelling, games, puzzles, art and craft, poems and rhymes provide a meaningful context of language learning, which helps pupils to build up their confidence in speaking Chinese and develops their interest in Chinese language and Chinese culture.
The curriculum will lay solid foundation for further foreign language learning at Key Stage 3 and support pupils to pursue Chinese as a foreign language to GCSE.
Additional teaching programmes of Chinese as a first language and as a second language will both be offered to advanced learners.
For all pupils, we offer lunchtime and after school extra-curricular activities, which enhances what they learn inside classroom and boosts their confidence and social skills. The Chinese extra-curricular activities could include Chinese speech and debate, read aloud Chinese poems with expression, Classical Chinese literature reading and appreciation.