Untying the Dragon’s Tongue: A Guide to Learning Mandarin Chinese
Hot off the press. A book by ALMA member, keen language learner and Canberra resident Stephen Ginpil!
Drawing on the results of academic research, the advice of expert language learners, and the author’s own experience, this book shows you how you can learn Mandarin efficiently, structure your study program to your own needs, maintain your motivation over the longer term. Detailed practical advice is also given on methods you can use to acquire a good accent, remember new vocabulary, and improve your listening comprehension, reading, writing, and speaking abilities.
ACFS Tour to visit the International Horticultural Exhibition in Yanqing, Beijing 29 August – 13 September 2019
The ACT Branch of ACFS is organising a tour, using China travel Service (Aust) Pty Ltd in Sydney, to visit the International Horticultural Expo being held in Yanqing County, Beijing. The tour will also visit Chengde, the former imperial summer residence, one of the Project Hope Schools ACFS supports, and other historic, culturally significant places in the area around Beijing that are not on the usual tourist trail. The group will be limited to a maximum of 16 persons.
The cost of the tour will be between $3961 and $3666pp, twin share, depending on the number of participants. The single room supplement is $1090pp and a deposit of $500 is required to secure a place on the tour.
The tour leader will be Carol Keil. For further information and a detailed itinerary please contact Carol on firstname.lastname@example.org ph 62478231 or 0417 041148
Chinese Acquisition: Theory and Practice
24th National Conference of the Chinese Language Teachers’ Federation of Australia Inc. (CLTFA)
Saturday 7- Sunday 8 July 2018,
Canberra Grammar School, 40 Monaro Crescent, Red Hill, ACT 2603
Professor Yang Zhao, Peking University, China
Professor Furukawa Yutaka, Osaka University, Japan
Professor Richard Rigby, Australian National University, Australia
The National Portrait Gallery is conducting a tour of the highlights of the gallery in Mandarin over 3 Sundays in early 2018. The tour introduces the history of the Portrait Gallery and the stories of selected portraits.
Dates and Times: 3pm on Sunday 21 January, Sunday18 February, and Sunday 18 March 2018
Duration of tour: 45 minutes
Cost : free
Venue: National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, Canberra
At the AGM the ALMA Committee reports on its activities in the previous year, presents the audited financial report of the association, and elects the new management Committee that oversees the operation of the CAECC and the association more broadly. The Committee meets every month (and by email as needed).
All members are invited to attend:
6.15pm, 30 October 2017
Chinese Australian Early Childhood Centre (CAECC), 50 Ainsworth Street, Mawson
At Mawson Preschool the young students are learning Chinese, counting as they pop balloons or learning colours as they feed fish. "They're even incorporating the Mandarin into their play in the classroom and the playground," says preschool teacher Kim Middleton. "We have a little play hospital set up in the room and I'll hear them talking about parts of the body, which is one of the games they play on the app, in their free play time."
About 50 off the 66 students have opted into the program at Mawson Preschool, with each child spending about 20 minutes a day learning through play. They also have a 30 minute session once a week with an in-class teacher. If the preschoolers end up attending Mawson Primary School they then have the option of being involved in the Mandarin Immersion Program where students can sign up for intensive language study. In Years K-2 one day is spent learning wholly in Mandarin, in Years 3-6 two days.
Executive teacher at Mawson Primary School Duncan Lawler said offering the immersion language program had been a successful move for the school. "We were a small school but we're attracting a wider student base now, with diplomatic families and those out of area looking for the language skills," Mr Lawler said. "We've gone from about 120 kids at our lowest point, to close to 400 now. It has been a great success." If students do not opt into the immersion program there is still an hour a week of language lessons.
The ALMA Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of a new centre Director for the Chinese Australian Early Childhood Centre it operates in Mawson. Her name is Bao Qin. Ms Bao has extensive experience in the childcare and early childhood education industry and is a qualified Early Childhood Teacher (ECT), holding a Bachelor of Education (Birth to Five Years). She is also currently completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary). Ms Bao’s official commencement date is 12 September 2016.
NEW REPORT: Building Chinese Language Capacity in Australia
On April 21 2016 the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) launched a report it had commissioned on Chinese language study in Australia: 'Building Chinese Language Capacity in Australia'. The report, written by Dr Jane Orton, highlights the gaps in Australia's Chinese language capacity and how these can be bridged, through careful and considered analysis.
Over one million Chinese tourists visited Australia last year yet six times as many Year 12 students are learning Japanese than Chinese as a second language. A mere 4500 students are learning Chinese in Year 12 - that's 0.1 percent of the population. Of these, it is estimated that only 400 are non-Chinese background classroom learners.
Enriching Chinese Studies in Canberra Schools: A mentoring project linking the ANU with schools to promote and enrich the study of China and Chinese in the ACT
ALMA and the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) at the ANU, with the support of the ACT Government Mandarin Culture and Language Grants Program and the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association (PARSA), are joining forces to establish a student ambassador project to promote and enrich Chinese Studies in ACT high schools.
This project will match ANU students and researchers with ACT schools to encourage secondary students to further develop their interest in China and pursue Chinese Studies at university. The goal is to connect Asian Studies and Chinese Studies programs in ACT schools with the institutional support of the ANU, and to connect school students with people who can inspire them to continue their studies. The project will also assist ANU Students to become involved in community service, improve their teaching, presentation and leadership skills, and develop their skills as academics.
ANU students can contribute to school programs in various ways, including:
Giving a motivational talk about their China experiences;
Presenting their China research to enhance school curriculums; or
Forming an ongoing mentorship and teaching relationship with a particular high school Chinese program.
Costs will be reimbursed, and stipends may be available for extended commitments.
Promoting Mandarin learning and Chinese Studies in the ACT
ALMA is pleased to announce that it is involved in three new joint projects with assistance from the ACT Government under the ACT Government Mandarin Culture and Language Grants program. In partnership with other organisations that teach Mandarin and promote Chinese Studies:
ALMA is seeking expressions of interest in new preschool and after-school Mandarin language programs so that more children can learn Chinese (see earlier post for more details)
Together with Mawson Primary School, ALMA is developing a program for non-Chinese parents so they can support and encourage their children with their Chinese studies
ALMA is working with the ANU to develop a mentoring program to link university students and researchers with ACT schools to encourage the study of Mandarin and things Chinese.
ALMA is joining forces and sharing its long experience in teaching Mandarin to young children with two other local community groups to offer new Chinese language programs at preschools, playgroups, childcare centres or primary schools in 2016. .
These programs can be run after school or in school hours
Programs will be tailored to suit children's language backgrounds
Chinese and non-Chinese background families welcome
The organisers are all not for profit groups, so costs will be kept to a minimum.
Interested? Talk to other parents or staff at your school or preschool about the idea. If a group of you are interested in hosting a class, let us know by contacting Xiaoli Lin on email@example.com or 0413 288 021 For information about current programs offered by the other two organisers see: FCCCI CHINESE SCHOOL:and MANDARIN FOR FUN:
ACT Mandarin Blueprint launched 15 October 2015
Media Release 15/10/2015 Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch today officially launched the Mandarin Blueprint and announced the recipients of the ACT Government Mandarin Culture and Language Grants. The blueprint, launched at Lake Tuggeranong College, highlights the importance of the ACT’s vibrant multicultural and multilingual community.
“The Canberra community is fortunate to have many opportunities to study Mandarin and learn about Chinese culture, either through curriculum programs delivered in our schools and community centres, or through the community language schools,” Ms Burch said.
“It is important that we continue building the capability of students to develop the skills and knowledge to enable them to be active global and regional citizens.
“I am excited to see the variety of innovative initiatives that will promote Mandarin language and culture in the ACT. I look forward to receiving updates on the progress and implementation of these initiatives in 2016.” The Mandarin Blueprint supports the ACT Government’s Many Voices Languages Policy and commitments under the Memorandum of Understanding between the ACT Government and Shanghai Normal University in the People’s Republic of China.
A total of 21 schools and community organisations will be receiving the ACT Government Mandarin Culture and Language Grants: Franklin Early Childhood School; Mount Rogers Primary School; Torrens Primary School; Canberra Grammar Primary School; Mawson Primary School; Canberra High School; Radford College; Kingsford Smith School; Merici College; Harrison School; Gungahlin College; Dickson College; Lake Tuggeranong College; the Association for Learning Mandarin in Australia; The Australian National University; the Federation of Chinese Community of Canberra; Mandarin for Fun Playgroup; ACT Playgroups Association; Canberra Chinese Language Teachers; and the Australian School of Contemporary Chinese.
Several vacancies exist for teachers of English for junior middle school children with non-English speaking backgrounds in High Schools in Shandong Province.
Duties include organising classroom activities; conducting classes in line with guidelines, textbooks and supplementary materials that are provided; organising regular assessment including tests and exams; participating in professional development including workshops, seminars and discussions. Duties may vary. 12 Months contract and extendable. Start as soon as possible. Salary, international airfare, living allowance and transport subsidy.
Applications close 15 September 2015.
Native speaker of English with a tertiary qualification
Relevant experience in teaching English and organising classroom activities for students with bilingual (Chinese and English) backgrounds, especially in classroom environments
Responsible, enthusiastic, patient, and showing respect to children
Good presentation and communication in English
Please send resume via email: firstname.lastname@example.org (in English or Chinese) or by fax: (02) 8003 9188. For more details, contact: Mr Yunfei He 0425 910 505; Ms Yangxue Sun, 0430 835 542.
HSK Test Centre now open in Canberra
HSK is an official Chinese Proficiency Test for study and employment in China. China Hanban has now established a test centre in Canberra, hosted by the Australian School of Contemporary Chinese. Open to universities, secondary schools, primary schools, Chinese community language schools, Australian Government agencies, companies and any individuals and educational institutions in Canberra.
There are four types of tests: HSK, HSKK, BCT, YCT, and the Canberra HSK test centre will take collective or individual registration. There will be centralized examinations twice each year in May and October. One-to-one tests may be arranged based on personal needs.
Canberra HSK test centers registration starts from 1st August 2015.
The Lu Rees Archives, housed at the University of Canberra, enhances the appreciation of Australian children's literature. The archives include over 25,000 books, with about 3000 in overseas translations in 53 languages, over 420 research files, and significant collections of authors', illustrators' and publishers' papers, manuscripts and artwork. These resources are publicly available, and visitors are welcome during opening hours.
The Archives received a Multicultural Grant from the ACT Government for 2015 to promote reading and enjoyment of Australian children's books which have been translated in Simplified Chinese. Books will be selected by teachers in the Australian School of Contemporary Chinese (ASCC), the Federation of Chinese Community of Canberra (FCCI) and the Queanbeyan Community Chinese Language School and those knowledgeable about Australian children's literature. After their purchase, the books will be catalogued, annotated, and listed on the schools' and Lu Rees Archives websites. The three Chinese schools will determine the location of the book collection and manage their lending to children and their families as well as using the books for educational purposes in the classroom.
Learning Chinese as a Heritage or Community Language in Australia
One article examines the commitment of Chinese heritage language learners to their language learning in Australia and how this contributes to their language proficiency. Findings from a quantitative survey of 230 Chinese Australian respondents and subsequent qualitative interviews indicate that cultural, social and symbolic capital significantly contributes to language proficiency and commitment to language learning. The AEF note that ACARA has recently released the Australian Curriculum: Chinese (F-10), which differentiates between three learner pathways: first language learners, second language learners, and background language learners (similar to heritage). The article provides an evidence base that schools can use to better understand the complex language learning commitments, goals and (perceived or anticipated) benefits of learning Chinese language for heritage learners.
MEDIA RELEASE 21 November 2014 CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF MANDARIN
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF MANDARIN What: End-of-year concert When: 5pm Friday 28 November 2014 Where: Mawson Primary School Hall, 50 Ainsworth Street, Mawson, ACT
The Chinese Australian Early Childhood Centre’s end-of-year concert will again showcase the children’s proficiency in Mandarin before an audience of proud parents and invited guests.
The bilingual Centre celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and its establishment by far-sighted parents has given hundreds of very young Canberrans a grounding in Mandarin, an idea now being promoted around the world.
The Centre, whose educators speak to the children predominately in Mandarin, is still unique in Australia.
The centre accords perfectly with the Chief Minister’s goals of extending links with China across all areas of Canberra activity.
Ms Kelly McGorm, President of the Association for Learning Mandarin in Australia (ALMA), which established and operates the CAECC, said “This centre is a model for bilingual Mandarin/English Early Childhood Centres and we would encourage their proliferation in Canberra and around Australia to enhance the benefits resulting from the growing links with China.”
ALMA Participation on working group: enhancing the learning of Mandarin and promoting understanding of Chinese culture through education in the ACT
A working group chaired by the ACT Education and Training Directorate was established in June 2014 to enhance Mandarin learning and the promotion of Chinese culture in the ACT. A major impetus for this was a letter ALMA sent to the ACT Chief Minister in April 2014 after we heard her speaking on local radio about the need for more ACT students to learn Mandarin to a high level of proficiency. In the letter, we pointed out the benefits of a holistic approach, building on current educational programs and local community initiatives.
The working group (WG) includes representatives from all school systems (ACT government, Catholic and independent), as well as community language schools, the ANU, UC, ACT Chinese Teachers Network and ALMA. The terms of reference are:
To prepare a two-year blueprint for enhancing the learning of Mandarin and promoting understanding of Chinese culture in ACT schools.
To identify and optimize the resources available for languages.
To identify and optimize the opportunities in the new Australian Curriculum.
All participants of the working group have equal responsibility for achievement of the role and aims of the working group.
The first step was to build a picture of current activities and seek information about the priorities of the various stakeholders represented on the WG, ideas for building on current initiatives and funding requirements. The Education and Training Directorate circulated a template to WG members to capture the relevant data, compiled the results and circulated these prior to the second WG meeting, which took place on 17 September 2014.
At the meeting, there was discussion of the following:
The importance of embedding general knowledge about China, such as its history, geography, economy and culture, in other areas of mainstream curriculum; inspiring interest in one or more of these aspects can stimulate, and sustain, interest in learning Mandarin.
The importance of IT and the benefits of sharing development and access across systems.
The need to include teachers from all systems, including community language schools, in curriculum development for Mandarin language - now revolving around the recently released national K-10 languages curriculum.
Based on discussion at the September meeting and the possibilities for collaboration and ideas for future developments identified in the templates completed by stakeholders, the Education and Training Directorate will develop a draft blueprint for further discussion in 2015.
In the meantime, if any of the stakeholders wish to work together on ideas, they can feed this to the EDT for incorporation into the draft blueprint. If you would like to get involved in ALMA’s follow up to the September meeting, please contact the ALMA secretary at email@example.com
The Australian Curriculum: Chinese now available online
The Second Language Learner Pathway for students learning Chinese as a second or additional language.
The Background Language Learner Pathway for students who have exposure to Chinese language and culture, and who may engage in some active but predominantly receptive use of Chinese at home.
The First Language Learner Pathway for students who have had their primary socialisation as well as initial literacy development and primary schooling in Chinese, and who use Chinese at home.
The curriculum is awaiting endorsement from the Education Council (formerly known as the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood), but as per a decision taken by the Council, the curricula are now available for states and territories to use in schools in their jurisdictions.
The remaining languages, including the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages, Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese are currently under development. Funding for the additional languages – Turkish, Hindi, AUSLAN, and Classical Greek and Latin – has been provided by the Australian Government.
Mandarin for Fun group expands its programs
From its beginnings in 2009 as a playgroup specifically designed to help parents and kids from both Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds to learn Mandarin in a fun way, due ot increasing demand the group now offers several types of programs - see details below.
Playgroup: Crafts, rhymes, songs and exercise. For families from Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds with kids aged from 0 to 5 years old. Tuesdays, 3:20pm – 4:50pm at West Belconnen Child and Family Centre, Kippax.
Family Immersion Program Aimed at parents and kids from non-Chinese backgrounds. Taught in a small group environment via various fun methods. Suitable for kids aged 8 months to 5 years old. Two groups: Tuesdays, 10 am – 10.45am or 11.15am – 12pm, both at Handcock Crescent, Macgregor
Kids after-school Mandarin Class For over 5 year-olds with no or little Chinese background. They will be exposed to formal learning by using textbooks with some homework. Tuesdays, 3.45pm – 4.30 pm at West Belconnen Child and Family Centre, Kippax
Mandarin Immersion Program (Kids only) For over 3 year-olds with no or little Chinese background. Taught in a home based environment, children will learn basic, commonly-used Mandarin conversation. Thursdays, 10:00am – 2:00pm at Handcock Crescent, Macgregor and/or Fridays 10:00am –2:00pm at Forde, Gungahlin
To support and encourage bilingualism in the Canberra region, Mandarin for Fun also co-hosts with ALMA a Mandarin Language program from 6.30pm to 7pm on Friday evenings. The program showcases the Mandarin for Fun program on air to make the learning curve easier for families. CLICK HERE for more details.
“China Day” - Get a Taste of Chinese Culture 24 May 2014, 12 noon - 3pm, Belconnen Arts Centre.
Established in 1994, the non-political, non-profit, non-religious community organization, the Federation of Chinese Community of Canberra Inc. (FCCCI), is the largest and most successful Chinese Community in Canberra. To celebrate its 20 years contribution to the community, FCCCI will hold a series of celebratory events in 2014.
The China Day on 24 May includes, but is not limited to, the following: 1. Traditional arts display 2. Cultural demonstration on site 3. Traditional performances on small stage 4. Photo show of FCCCI’s achievements over the 20 years including art work from students 5. Chinese book sale 6. Chinese food making experience and tasting
If you are interested in participating please email your name, contact and event/s in which you are interested to firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text Lixin at 0402 186 530 on or before Friday 4 April 2014.
堪培拉华联社(Federation of Chinese Community of Canberra Inc. or FCCCI)成立于1994年，在过去的二十年里，华联社致力于传播中华传统文化，热衷于社区公益事业，为促进堪培拉社区多元文化繁荣发展起到重要的作用。
作为华联社成立二十周年庆典活动之一的 “中华文化体验日”活动将于2014年5月24日中午12:00 至下午3点在Belconnen Arts Centre 举行。
The FCCCI School is trying new ways to inspire students to continue to develop their Mandarin skills. At a workshop for parents and teachers in November 2013, the school reported on a trail of a new series of text books written by Dr Liping Ma from Sitanfu Chinese School in the San Francisco Bay Area for children from Mandarin-speaking families.
The results of the pilot class using Book 1 in the series in 2013 have been remarkable in terms of students' Chinese proficiency and engagement with language learning. For example, one boy who had refused to speak Mandarin at home is now speaking and enjoys going to weekend school.
Book 1 focuses more on reading than writing, allowing more vocabulary to be introduced and thus more interesting stories, riddles and songs to be read by the students. Another key component is that parents are expected to help students go over they have learned in class during the week.
Due to the success of the pilot class, the school will continue with Book 2 in 2014 and also open another Grade 1 class if there is sufficient interest from parents.
Revised national Chinese curricula available for public viewing
The draft Chinese and Italian curricula have been revised based on feedback from national consultation and the validation process. The revised documents are available for viewing and comment until 22 November 2013. This is not a formal public consultation process. Formal feedback will be sought from state and territory education authorities through the ACARA Languages National Panel.
Any written feedback from individuals or groups outside of the National Panel is welcome and should be emailed to email@example.com by 22 November 2013.
For more information about the Australian Curriculum: Languages CLICK HERE
Forum on Mandarin Education in the ACT: Pathways to Proficiency: Held Saturday 10 August at the Australian National University (ANU)
Organised by ALMA in cooperation with the ACT Directorate of Education and Training, and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP), the forum (see program) brought together early childhood educators, principals and teachers from mainstream and community language schools, local politicians, Chinese community leaders, diplomatic personnel and lecturers and other academics with an interest and/or involvement in Mandarin education. The aim of the forum was to create and strengthen networks and to lay the foundation for strategic partnerships to deliver better outcomes in terms of student numbers, quality programs. interest in Chinese studies, and Mandarin language proficiency among ACT students. For summary of outcomes CLICK HERE.
ALMA is grateful for financial and logistics support for this forum from CAP and the Australian Centre on China in the World.