Language Other Than English

中国普通话 Zhōngguó pǔtōnghuà

Mernda Primary School strives towards developing their students for Global Citizenship. Teachers include in the daily curriculum many intercultural opportunities in order to prepare students to work and live in a multicultural community with different cultures and customs. To support our students towards global citizenship, Mernda supports the mandatory curriculum expectation that schools must offer a Language Other Than English (LOTE) to students from Prep to Year 10.

Why Chinese?

为什么教中文?Wèishéme jiào zhōngwén?

With a large percentage of Australia’s import and export trade going to our Asian neighbours, Mernda Primary offers Chinese (Mandarin) as part of the core curriculum. The LOTE program at Mernda Primary school works to introduce students to conversational Chinese. Mernda Primary aims to prepare students to become global and intercultural Citizens who interact with our Asian neighbours with the view to open opportunities to work and live in a global world.

The LOTE Program at Mernda Primary School provides students from Prep to Year 6 with basic Chinese – Mandarin as the 2nd language of choice.

Our Program –

我们的程序 Wǒmen de chéngxù

A dedicated LOTE lesson is part of our weekly timetable and includes verbal and written (pinyin and characters) Chinese lesson as well as exploring aspects of the Chinese History, Geography, Culture, Traditions, Festivals and Folktale. Mernda provides a program that encompasses 21st Century web-based meeting tools to remotely meet with a Chinese tutor on a weekly basis. Most of our tutors are based in Beijing China and all of them are native Mandarin speakers.

Students develop a relationship with their Chinese tutor over the year as they learn all about the spoken language, pinyin (the written language using alphabet), the traditional characters (calligraphy) along with the customs, cultures, geography and folklore of China.

In the upper primary years (3-6), students are formally assessed in their oral skills by their tutor and all students from Prep to Year 6 receive a LOTE – Chinese report each semester. Classroom teachers support each weekly lesson by presenting additional material to students to compliment the language component and topic of each lesson.

Celebrating Chinese Culture –

庆祝中国文化 Qìngzhù zhōngguó wénhuà

Each year the whole school celebrates a Chinese Cultural Week in Term 3 where they are able to have hands on learning experiences of the Chinese culture. Mernda Primary teachers carefully plan and prepare a celebration day to compliment Chinese learning that has occurred in the classroom throughout the year. Our teachers also strive to provide rich learning experiences and make real life connections to compare these aspects to their own rich cultural backgrounds.

Chinese Incursion and Excursion opportunities planned by teachers also assist to support student learning and engagement through hands on learning experiences. Some of these cultural opportunities may include Chinese food and cooking, dancing, music, kung fu lessons, traditional shows and calligraphy.

Immersion Learning –

浸入式学习Jìnrù shì xuéxí

Over the past 5 years, more than 30 Mernda Primary staff have travelled (self-funded) to China to collaborate with their online tutors from My Education Group and to see the wonders of China, with the intent to improve their own learning and knowledge of the Chinese language, customs and culture so they can bring this back to the classroom and their students.

In March 2020, Mernda Primary will embark on its first ever Year 5/6 Student Tour to China to complete their cultural experience through immersion learning, homestay opportunities and language development. It is with much excitement that we head over to China with our students in order for them to experience their learning in a hands on environment.