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Languages

​“Languages prepare learners for meaningful, productive lives in a culturally and linguistically diverse society and world."

Chinese


Here at St Benedict's we have a part-time qualified Chinese teacher who works with our Year 5 and 6 classes. The study of the Chinese language opens the way to many important fields such as travel and hospitality, services, education, trade, history, culture, archaeology and so much more! To be at ease and effective in a Chinese environment, learning the language is just part of the story - knowing about the culture behind the language is the other.

What you might already know:

  1. China is the world's most populated country, with one of the oldest and richest continuous cultures.
  2. One fifth of the world's population speaks Chinese - with Mandarin being the mother tongue of over 873 million people, making it the most widely spoken language.
  3. Mandarin is spoken in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, as well as among Chinese communities around the world.
  4. China is the second largest economy in the world, and Australia's largest trading partner.

Some surprising facts:
Chinese grammar is relatively uncomplicated. Unlike European languages, Chinese has no verb conjugation (no need to memorize verb tenses!). For example, while someone learning English has to learn different verb forms like “see/saw/seen,” all you need to do in Chinese is just to remember one word: kan. While in English you have to distinguish between “cat” and “cats,” in Chinese there is only one form: mao. (Chinese conveys these distinctions of tense and number in other ways, of course.)

Research shows:

  • Learning Chinese helps to increase students' listening abilities, language skills and critical thinking - all of which are thinking skills that improve learning in general.
  • Students who are proficient in two languages perform better academically than their peers.
  • The optimum age for acquiring second language skills is before the age of 13.
  • Students with higher cultural awareness are better equipped to understand how to work within a diverse workforce.
  • Learning Chinese in primary school readies students for taking advanced Mandarin courses in secondary school and university.