The Language Other Than English (LOTE) taught at Collingwood is Chinese (Mandarin).
More than 40 other Languages are available through the Victorian School of Languages which has a centre at the College.
Every student from Prep to Year 8 has the opportunity to maintain their home language as well as learn the culture and language of China.
Students in the Junior School learn one topic each term, eg. food, family, while Middle School students use the Ni Hao text book to learn the Chinese language from the beginning to a higher level.
Students are also introduced to Chinese culture, arts, literature and history to support each topic and undertake research projects.
Students from Year 9 can select Chinese language or Chinese history and culture. These students also have the opportunity to go on an exchange trip to China.
Chinese language teaching is also linked to business studies since China is becoming such an economic powerhouse and the study of Chinese is very useful to students interested in careers in business and many other areas requiring an international and Asian perspective.
Li Juan and Wil Yue are the qualified LOTE teachers.
Lessons focus on learning the language as well as as on completing many other activities such as art, cooking and performing.
Chinese craft work and traditional childrens games reflecting Chinese societies and cultures are introduced as well as a yearly performance to acknowledge the Moon Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival.
As a celebration of the LOTE program we have a day of activities and festivities relating to the culture of China. Kite – making, dancing, calligraphy and Yum Cha, are some of the activities that the students participate in.
- Learn Chinese Characters (external link)
- Real Chinese – introduction in 10 short parts (BBC)
- National Geographic – About China – pictures, maps and other information
- Time for Kids Around the World site – China
More Reasons to Learn Chinese:
Chinese is the language of nearly 1/4 of the world’s population. Speakers of Chinese not only live in China, Taiwan, and Singapore, but also spread throughout Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe, where large Chinese communities congregate.
Chinese people today play increasingly important roles worldwide. Learning Chinese is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture. Unlike most languages, Chinese has a unique ideographic writing system, which provides visual comprehensibility.
The grammatical structure of Chinese is not only logical, but also pragmatic, related to the particular way of Chinese thinking. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
Traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Chan Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian nations. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world through Marco Polo, G. W. Leibniz, Max Weber, Franz Kafka, Andre Malraux, Bertolt Brecht, Ezra Pound, and Luis Borges, among others.
The People’s Republic of China currently boasts the fastest growing economy in the world and is widely regarded as the potentially biggest global market in the twenty-first century. Proficient speakers of Mandarin Chinese will find jobs in various fields such as business, government, international relations, information technology, tourism, education, translation and much, much more.
At many universities and colleges, particulary in the USA, Chinese shows the highest proportional increase in enrolment of all foreign languages. Many students take Chinese language lessons by choice do so for the purpose of working in China in the future, as now there are many opportunities to do so.
Some people learn Chinese for general cultural reasons or because they are interested in languages. A few learn Chinese just for the challenge, as they believe that it is one of the most difficult languages to learn, but then find out that it is not as difficult as they first thought.