Once again it is time to farewell our Mandarin Language Assistants from Confucius Institute, Auckland. Time has passed quickly for the 47 language assistants from China who arrived 29th January this year. The experiences have been vast - sky diving, bungee jumping, jet boating, skiing, tramping to just enjoying fish and chips on the beach. They have learnt and gained a lot and have made friendships and memories that will last forever.
The impact on schools and children in New Zealand have been huge. It was time to give the MLA's a good send off on their journey back home.
The event started with formalities and speeches from Nora Yao, the Director of the Confucius Institute, Auckland, Jenny Dixon, the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of the CI Board, the Mr Xiao Yewen, the Deputy Consul General of People's Republic of China in Auckland. This was followed by a delightful umbrella dance by Saint Kentigern Girls School, taught by their MLA. The MLA reflections by Li Pan and Cheng Yiqing were thoughtful and humorous. This was followed by a special Maori song from the MLA group of Tutira Mai Nga Iwi.
The rest of the event was filled with fun and laughter and a few tears. The audience was quizzed on their knowledge of both 'Kiwi' and 'Chinese' culture and the MLA's did a little skit on their teaching in schools. A farewell tribute of photos and videos from students and schools was put into a montage by Junye Shao, ending with the MLA song.
In the past ten months, all of us have been trying our best to be good Chinese teachers, and forming warm lasting relationships with our Homestay families and colleagues. We have also tried our best to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent country! Yes! I think we have done most of this, as we are now absolutely in love with New Zealand!
We are amazed with the diversity here. We found that all languages have their own celebrations. As a teacher, the most important thing is not only how much knowledge you have taught your students, but also how much you have influenced them in a positive way. From the first time, when we met our students: some were nervous and shy to say any words in front of us to now when they see you, they will run to you and give you a big hug asking “Miss, We like your lessons so much! We missed you! When will you come to our class? Why do we only have you once a week?”
We have also experienced moments of struggle when trying to plan good lessons, when making good resources, when thinking of fun games to play and good creative cultural activities. But, we think about those adorable kids and the wonderful times we have with them, that all the effort we put in makes it worthwhile.
We thank all the teachers for your support and feedback in helping us become better teachers in the classroom.
Thank you New Zealand, to the schools, principals, teachers, homestays, Confucius Institute and especially our universities and Hanban in China. We have had a remarkable year here. Even though, it is time to say goodbye, we would rather say “Kia Ora”, because it means “goodbye” for now, and “Hello” for next time when we come back.
“Kia Ora, Aotearoa; See you later, New Zealand; （Together）后会有期，新西兰。” By LiPan and Cheng Yiqing
For a while now we have had the privilege of Miss Anne coming in our classroom to teach Chinese. It had been a good experience for all the Classrooms to learn something new. We have learnt many Chinese words, characters and more. Chinese is good for the fact that you’re learning without even knowing it, plus you have fun while learning. 我们喜欢中文公司，期待更多的理由
Nǐhǎo = Hello
I think having Miss Anne teaching mandarin is helping us a lot. Everyone has been enjoying the lessons that she has been giving us. All the juniors have been loving the time spent with her. K1 loves the games we play. “你好吗？” means “How are you”. This is one of the things we learnt in Mandarin.
We think that having Chinese at this age will set us up for life, we are learning things that we would say in our English everyday life. Such as Hello, how are you, what is your name and others. We have had the privilege of having Chinese every Thursday for a whole hour!! We have also been taught about the Chinese culture, food and further information about China. We also plays small games to memorise the things we have learnt.
(Students from Matangi School, August 2018)
This is the first year Matangi School students have been learning Chinese. They currently share an Mandarin Language Assistant with Hautapu School.
During the month of August, Holy Cross Catholic School in Henderson was very lucky to have Zhang Li, a teacher from Guangzhou at their school on an AFS Scholarship. With extra help in the classroom, it was a great opportunity for the senior students to learn Chinese chess (象棋). The students spent the first lesson learning the names of the pieces and what they could do. Some students were already familiar with the chess moves in English chess so for them it was not so difficult. These students quickly moved on to actually playing under the guidance of Zhang Li. The following week these students were able to help other students to play. The students all seemed to enjoy the chess with several groups wanting to stay on after the bell to finish their game. 很好玩儿！
My name is Andrea Edwards and I have been teaching Chinese for five years. I was brought into Pakuranga College to establish Chinese as a new subject. There were no digital resources commercially available for teaching Chinese in a BYOD environment so I wrote my own. I have put together a whole program including digital workbooks, Kahoots, Quizlet lists, Sugarcane vocab games and more which has been used and improved in my own classes over the last four years.
The books have been written in a way that gives authenticity and context to the learning of language and culture in a communicative style. Activities cover reading, listening, writing and speaking and are linked specifically to the New Zealand Curriculum. The digital books follow Wiremu, a Maori New Zealander who goes on exchange to China. Students learn Chinese language and culture with Wiremu and compare what he is learning with his Maori heritage.
These resources were designed for my Years 9 and 10 classes, but could be used at intermediate level. In the future, I plan to write primary level resources based on Wiremu’s younger sister Ana.
The program is now available to other teachers of Chinese with comprehensive unit plans included. Please go to http://www.ll4kiwis.co.nz for more information.
The Remuera and Epsom ALLiS cluster had a number of very successful cluster meetings in the previous two terms. The cluster is composed of eight schools, which included Meadowbank School, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Remuera Primary, Newmarket Primary, Cornwall Park School, Remuera Intermediate School, Parnell District School and Victoria Avenue School. All of these schools offer Mandarin and two of them offer Japanese as well. Each term the language teachers or cluster representatives get together to discuss about language teaching, learn about new teaching methodologies and enjoy various cultural activities.
In Term one, we made dumplings and used chopsticks to eat. It was the first time to make jiǎozi for some of us. It was a great team building activity!
In Term two, we were pleased to have Dr Julie Zhu to teach our group about Chinese calligraphy. We learned about the history of Chinese calligraphy and different types of scripts. It was fascinating to appreciate the beautiful handcrafted calligraphy tools. We had an attempt to write the characters on the special rice paper.
In relation to the calligraphy activity, Dr Jiwei Fu has delivered two teaching pedagogy sessions about Chinese character learning. Teachers have gained a deeper understanding about the formation of Chinese characters, radicals and the development of characters throughout the past five thousand years.
Our knowledgeable teachers in the cluster have shared their expertise in Chinese and Japanese Tea Culture. We sampled different kinds of tea and learned about the benefits of drinking tea.
By Amy Ko (Meadowbank School)
International Languages Week is coming up Week 3 of Term 3, from Monday 14th August to the 18th August! It's a great opportunity to showcase the cultures of your students and the languages they speak as well as show how cool and fun learning Chinese can be.
There are some great ideas and interesting videos about world languages to share with the whole school on the Learning Languages PLD wiki site. Share things at assembly and get your classroom teachers and students involved. Please send us some photo's of your celebrations to share.
Note: Chinese Languages Week is the 16th Oct to 22nd Oct this year.
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