Bletchington Public School students learn Chinese from China | Central Western Daily

Bletchington Public School students learn Chinese from China

GLOBAL LANGUAGE CONNECTION: Students from 6A at Bletchington Public School have been learning Chinese direct from China from teacher Sarina. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Students from Bletchington Public School have been learning to speak Mandarin Chinese directly from China.

Each Wednesday, the year 6 students in teacher Mitchell Allen’s class connect to a Chinese teacher for their weekly language lesson.

“We had the opportunity to connect to a native speaker in China,” Mr Allen said.

“I was looking for the kids to have exposure of something that works on a different part of their brain.

“I think it’s fantastic, I think it’s exposing the kids to things that they wouldn’t normally have exposure to.”

He said it was also good for children in Orange to gain a deeper knowledge of different languages and cultures.

I was looking for the kids to have exposure of something that works on a different part of their brain

“We connect through the tech in the classroom to connect to the teacher in China each week,” Mr Allen said.

“It’s a chance to bring in someone authentic.

“The majority of the lesson is a language focus but there’s a little bit more with the history and cultural side of it.”

He said he is notified of what will come up in the half-hour lesson each week and students are encouraged to practice at home and with their prior preparation it is easier for the laoshi (teacher) Sarina to ask questions of individual students.

VIDEO: Class 6A learning Chinese from China …

The lessons are being run through the group My Teacher using Zoom software.

Mr Allen said the lessons started at the beginning of the year and will run for about 12 weeks and although it was challenging in the first few weeks the students were improving with greetings.

“They are doing very well … there’s some who absolutely love it,” he said.

He said one of the benefits of connecting to a teacher in China was making sure the students understood the correct pronunciation of words as well as vocal inflections.

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Mr Allen said it was better to have Sarina there to correct pronunciation rather than have him attempt to teach the language himself.

Mr Allen said the school became aware of the program at a primary network meeting and decided to run the Chinese lessons for one year 5 class and one year 6 class this year.

“While schools can engage in [language lessons] schools often don’t because they don’t have the resources,” he said.

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