At Livingstone PS, students have the choice to learn German or Mandarin. During Foundation, students engage in one semester of each language before deciding which they want to further pursue in Years 1-6.
German is taught through topics common to students’ everyday lives, as well as drawing upon some of their past experiences to develop vocabulary and understanding. Topics may also relate to units of work currently studied by the class in other subject areas. Lessons incrementally build upon skills, knowledge and experiences gained in previous years. All students study aspects of German culture and a range of celebrations.
In the early years (Foundation – Year 2), students progress from learning the correct pronunciation of everyday words and greetings, following simple directions and identifying common nouns through to writing short sentences about familiar topics and experiences, using adjectives to describe nouns and reading short stories. Much of the content and skill development occurs through the use of songs and language games.
In the middle to senior years, students build upon their writing skills and knowledge of nouns, verbs and adjectives. They begin to rely less on teacher models, focusing more on creating individual pieces of work. They integrate the use of iPads and computers to present their work and research, and access dictionaries/online translators and word lists to assist them in expressing themselves through both written and oral language. This culminates in students at the most senior level of the school writing paragraphs, presenting work to the class and confidently reading paragraphs/text aloud.
The Mandarin program is designed to engage students in a wide range of learning experiences including music, dancing, art (Chinese ink painting and calligraphy), handcraft, sport and drama. The use of ICT is integrated throughout the program to facilitate students’ exploration in their learning of language and culture.
Similar to our German program, students learning Mandarin in the early years focus on learning simple commonly used words and everyday terms (for example, greetings, farewells, introducing themselves) and responding to simple classroom instructions. They learn to create short sentences and conduct simple conversation with peers. Integrating digital technology, students use iPad applications to explore Chinese characters, such as recognising and constructing characters.
In the middle to senior years, students expand their vocabulary, create more complex sentences and conversation with peers and perform Chinese songs. They also incorporate digital technology through the use of iPads to record and film their speaking and performances. The use of iPad applications further supports the development of speaking and listening skills, as well as skills in Chinese character recognition and input (typing).