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Mandarin


China has a booming economy and is a rising global superpower, so learning Mandarin provides a unique and exciting opportunity for Aston students. The will have a competitive advantage in the world of business. The Mandarin wants students to understand the value of these communication skills in the job market and the importance of working hard to achieve results. We aim to inspire young minds of our boys to understand the big picture, the value of learning the language, and the positive impact it can have on their lives. 

We strive to provide the best opportunities for our boys to emerge themselves in the culture, language, traditions and history of China during their study of Mandarin.  Due to the way in which the Mandarin programmed is funded, we can ensure that all our students have equal access to the subject regardless of different abilities and needs. We are also to able to offer a trip to China  at a low cost. We ensure our boys make vertical progress in listening, speaking, reading and writing, not only through communicating using the language in the classroom, but also through applying their language skills in real life situations; these include speaking to native Chinese-speakers and writing to pen pals in China. We also aim to offer  A Level to enable our boys to study Mandarin at university. 


Staff:

  • Mrs H Liu, Subject Leader
  • Mrs L Yang, Assistant Subject Leader 
  • Mrs Y He, Teacher 
  • Mrs H Huang, Teacher 

Trips and visits:

  • Visits and workshop from Chinese martial arts and music artists. 
  • A Chinese restaurant trip for Year 7 boys. 
  • A possible trip to visit China Town and British Museum (China exhibition) in London. 
  • A partly-subsidised trip to visit Beijing and Shanghai for year 8 and 9 boys. During this trip, pupils will also visit a school in China and build long-term relationships with students of the same age in China.  

Year 7

Summary of curriculum: 

The primary goal of this course is to help the learners use Mandarin to exchange information and to communicate ideas on a basic level. 

Students should be able to recognise 100  – 120 characters and it is expected that they will be able to write about 70 – 90 characters. In order to establish a solid foundation for character learning, students will be taught radicals (word roots) and formation about how characters were formed, so that we will learn a very effective way to memorise the pictographic and ideographic characters. They will also learn how to look up new words in the dictionary and be able to write a short paragraph in characters using a computer. Students will be able to ask and answer basic questions about their families, daily lives and personal interests using intonation and simple question words and structures. 

Main topics include: 
  • Knowledge about Chinese characters and how Chinese characters are formed. Students will gain a good understanding about Chinese characters and will become more confident in learning them. 
  • Pinyin: a phonetic system to indicate the pronunciations of the characters. 
  • Numbers, age and birthday. 
  • Greetings.
  • Family and home 
  • Hobbies. 
  • Food and drink. 
How students will be assessed during the year: 

There will be three CATs during the year. These will take place in the autumn, spring and summer terms and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one HTA per half term. Students will also have weekly vocabulary tests. 

How parents can support their son’s learning: 
  • By encouraging your son to meet all deadlines for work set.  
  • By testing his knowledge of characters on a weekly basis. You read out the meaning of a character in English and your son must say the Mandarin in a loud voice and write it down. 
  • By ensuring that he practises his Mandarin independently, by using the resources on the recommended websites and apps. 
Able & Inspired opportunities: 
  • Character writing competition among different Swire Centres 
  • Authentic materials like books, movies etc. provided by the department. 
  • Mandarin Ambassador awards for the best CAT result. 
Useful websites: 

Year 8

Summary of curriculum: 

In year 8 we begin the important work of helping the students to build on the grammar and vocabulary acquired in year 7. They move on also to more complex grammar and topic areas.  We continue to study the cultural context through film, song and literature. We will have more emphasis on communicating authentically. An integral part of the study of the culture is our trip to China. 

At the end of this course, they should be able to recognise over 200 characters and write over 150 characters. Students will be able to ask and answer questions about their holidays, travel in China and personal lives using a variety of question words and structures. They will be able to express agreement and disagreement and give justifications for their opinions. Students will continue to build their knowledge of present tense verbs and using time phrases in the correct word order, and will master the use of the past tense and future tense. Throughout the course students will use authentic materials to investigate the rich cultures of the Chinese-speaking world. 

Main topics include: 
  • Holidays: students will learn to talk about weather, holiday destinations, transport. Holiday activities using past, present and future tenses. 
  • Travel in China: students will learn the names of main cities, historical and sightseeing places in China, express their opinions in complex sentences.  
  • Shopping: students will learn to communicate when buying fruit and vegetables, clothes etc. in shops and talk about online shopping.  
  • Where do you live? Students will learn describe their houses and local area, and talk about future plan and jobs. 
How students will be assessed during the year:  There will be three CATs during the year. These will take place in the autumn, spring and summer terms and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one HTA per half term. Students will also have weekly vocabulary tests. 
How parents can support their son’s learning: 
  • By encouraging your son to meet all deadlines for work set. 
  • By testing his knowledge of character on a weekly basis. You read out the meaning of a character in English and your son must say the Mandarin in a loud voice and write it down. 
  • By ensuring that he practises his Mandarin independently, by using the resources on the recommended website and apps. 
Able & Inspired opportunities: 
  • Character writing competition among the different Swire Centres. 
  • Nationwide Mandarin-speaking competition.  
  • Authentic materials like books, movies etc. provided by the department. 
  • Mandarin Ambassador awards for the best CAT result. 
Useful websites: 

Year 9

Summary of curriculum: 

In year 9, we strive to ensure that all students gain a deeper understanding of the grammar to which they have been introduced in years 7 and 8. Students will learn to comprehend texts with the help of new vocabulary and sentence structures and reading strategies.  

Students will be encouraged to manipulate the language to express and create their own ideas and hold discussions on topics related to their own life. Cultural elements will be explained and added to the learning while students progressing in their language abilities. Students will be able to recognise over 280 characters and write over 230 characters. 

Students will be able to ask and answer questions about their personal lives and the world around them. They will be able to express and react to opinions as well as express a range of other emotions including enthusiasm, disappointment, indifference, as well as desires and possibilities. Students will use a wide range of grammatical concepts such as adverbs; direct and indirect object pronouns; and the comparative and superlative; to write detailed texts in a range of different formats e.g. letter, comic strip, poem, review. Students will continue to build on their knowledge of the three tenses and will learn the present-perfect tense. Throughout the course students will use authentic materials to investigate the rich cultures of the Chinese-speaking world. 

Main topics include: 
  • All about me: students will learn to describe people’s appearance, their room, talk about their daily route and understand Chinese teenagers’ lives in China. 
  • School: students will learn to talk about school subjects, timetable, school uniform, and schools in China.  
  • Jobs and employment: students will learn to names key job titles, talking about their ideal futures jobs, work experience and understand the job market/opportunities in China. 
  • Social and environmental issues: students will learn to understand and talk about the issue in the society and with the environment, they will also learn to talk about their experience of being involved in activities about these issues. 
How students will be assessed during the year: 

There will be three CATs during the year. These will take place in the autumn, spring and summer terms and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one HTA per half term. Students will also have weekly vocabulary tests. 

How parents can support their son’s learning: 
  • By encouraging your son to meet all deadlines for work set.  
  • By testing his knowledge of character on a weekly basis. You read out the meaning of a character in English and your son must say the Mandarin in a loud voice and write it down. 
  • By ensuring that he practises his Mandarin independently, by using the resources on the recommended website and apps. 
Able & Inspired opportunities: 
  • Character writing competition among different Swire Centres. 
  • Nationwide Mandarin-speaking competition.  
  • Authentic materials like books, movies etc provided by the department. 
Useful websites: