Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Students will have some exposure to Chinese language and culture in the context of their family and community life. They are likely to have high oracy skills but low literacy skills in Chinese. In the school environment they begin to understand how they use more than one language in their daily lives.
Chinese language learning and use
For background language learners the focus is on making connections between their oracy and literacy. Students use Chinese for most class activities and group responses, participating in active listening and action-related talk, games and play. They will be immersed in the sounds and sights of Chinese. They read short texts, share ideas about daily life and adapt the language they know to different contexts. Classroom interactions are mediated by teacher questioning and interactive talk in Chinese.
Contexts of interaction
Students are exposed to Chinese in the classroom and in their home and local community environments. Classroom experiences are likely to be structured compared to other contexts. Students communicate with peers, teachers and known adults. They begin to engage with Chinese culture through participating in community- and school-based celebrations, song and dance. Contexts are focused mostly on the here and now.
Texts and resources
Background language learners are exposed to a range of texts, including traditional oral texts, picture books, stories, rhyming verse, songs, poetry, multimodal texts and dramatic performances. Learners engage with Chinese language and culture through participating in celebrations.
Features of Chinese language use
Students recognise tones as an important element of Chinese speech and learn how the sounds of Chinese can be encoded in Pinyin, using Roman letters that often convey different sounds than students are accustomed to in English. Students view samples of characters as captions to images and as text in storybooks often defined in Pinyin. They learn to recognise basic character forms that represent familiar objects and ideas and convey significant cultural meanings.
Level of support
Chinese language use is scaffolded, prompted and modelled by the teacher.
The role of English
English is used where appropriate to allow for explanation, reflection and substantive discussion.