How does Mandarin Chinese link to the new Primary Area of Learning Understanding English communication and languages?
Learning Mandarin Chinese fits into 'Breadth of Learning' point 4.
d. By engaging with other languages (i), including, where appropriate, those used in their communities, children should:
1.look at the patterns, structures and origins of languages (i) in order to understand how language works
Mandarin Chinese is so very different from English, French, German and Spanish because of its origins and so lends itself to this outcome of understanding how language works. Ask us more to understand how to achieve this understanding of both English and Chinese when teaching Chinese.
2.listen to and join in with conversation in other languages and communicate about simple, everyday matters
Learning to speak Chinese especially working with a partner school in China fulfils this goal in a way that children engage so easily with. How can children start having conversations through understanding differences between the way the two languages work
3.understand how learning other languages can help them appreciate and understand other cultures as well as their own.
The potential for cultural work that spans the curriculum and which can be led by a non-native class teacher is huge. This is not 'educational tourism' but serious engagement with modern and ancient China. It is a very powerful way of making Mandarin Chinese belong to the whole school