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Chinese Language Week

Chinese lion statue.

Nĭ hăo!

Welcome to New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week (23–29 September 2018) is an initiative aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to discover Chinese language and culture. Mandarin Chinese is the most widely-spoken language in the world and the number of people in the world learning Chinese is on the increase.

This events page offers resources and stories to help you and your students get involved in New Zealand Chinese Language Week. Useful links and ideas to support language learning and to explore the Chinese culture are provided.  

Great Wall of China.

Links to the NZC

Learning a new language gives us insight into new ways of thinking, and to different beliefs and cultural practices. New Zealand Chinese Language Week supports the curriculum principles of cultural diversity and inclusion, and provides an opportunity for students to:

  • demonstrate the vision of connection to a global community
  • explore the values of diversity, community, and respect
  • achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages area
  • make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols and texts, and relating to others.

"Asia is growing faster than any other region and in the 21st century will be extremely important to New Zealand economically, politically, and socially. It is vital that students in New Zealand have opportunities to learn about Asia to ensure they are equipped to be successful in this changing environment."

Asia Knowledge, TKI

How could your school celebrate?

  • Chinese lantern.
    Learn and practice a new Chinese phrase each day. This 2017 video could be used to support your learning.
  • Invite your Chinese students and parents to share aspects of their culture with you. They could teach you some Chinese phrases, lead a cooking or dancing lesson, tell traditional stories, bring cultural artifacts from home, or share famous Chinese songs or games.
  • If you teach junior primary students you could watch an episode of Ni Hao, Kai Lan, an interactive animation that teaches young children basic Mandarin language skills. Practice the phrases that Kai Lan introduces to you.
  • Learn how to write some basic Chinese characters. You could write your name using Chinese characters.
  • Read The Race by Chris Tso and discover how the twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac came to be chosen and how their order was decided. Use the zodiac calendar to find out your Chinese zodiac sign.
  • Research the significance of the dragon in Chinese culture and create a Chinese dragon puppet or watercolour Chinese dragon.
  • Check out the events page on the New Zealand Chinese Language Week website to see what’s on near you.

Supporting resources

Hao! An introduction to Modern Standard Chinese
This is an introductory resource to support teaching and learning of Chinese. It aligns with curriculum levels 1 and 2 for learning languages. This resource is available to New Zealand schools free of charge.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week primary guide
This guide and associated resources have been specifically written to support New Zealand primary and intermediate schools to celebrate New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week secondary guide
This guide and associated resources have been specifically written to support New Zealand secondary schools to celebrate New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

Asia New Zealand education resources
This selection of resources about China have been developed in partnership with New Zealand teachers for use in New Zealand schools.

Teacher professional development in languages programme years 7–10 (TPLT)
TPLT supports the teaching and learning of languages including Chinese. TPLT is an in-service year-long programme for teachers at all NZ schools. As part of the TPLT programme, a teacher can learn a language at a level and through a method appropriate to their needs and their situation.

Confucius Institute at the University of Auckland.

The Confucius Institute
The Confucius Institutes in New Zealand support schools to offer Mandarin language and culture classes. This support includes advice, introductory programmes, professional development, principal delegations to China, and Mandarin language assistants. For further information to support Chinese learning in schools, contact your regional Confucius Institute:

Supporting TKI sites

Asia Knowledge
Asia knowledge is a priority in the New Zealand Curriculum and therefore has official status as a context for integrated learning and as a context for the future-focused themes. This website is designed to help schools with the process of school curriculum design.

Learning languages on TKI
The learning languages community on TKI is a portal to professional learning opportunities and support for the learning languages area of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Have you seen?

Chinese calligraphy.

Early start on Mandarin opens doors to wider world
This Education Gazette article explains how New Lynn Primary students are studying Mandarin language and Chinese culture as part of an approach to celebrate and normalise diversity.

Asia Aware – Why Asia matters to New Zealand?
This 2009 report by the Asia New Zealand Foundation highlights the importance of building strong links with the Asia region and explores the role that education can play in this.

Published on: 01 Dec 2017


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