Chinese (Version 8.4)

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Context statement

The place of the Chinese language and culture in Australia and the world
China's official language is Modern Standard Chinese, or Putonghua (the common or shared language) in Chinese.


PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Languages - Chinese are available as PDF documents. 
Languages - Chinese: Sequence of content
Languages - Chinese: Sequence of Achievement - Background Language Learner Pathway - F-10 …


Foundation to Year 2

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.

Foundation to Year 2 Content Descriptions


Initiate interactions, make requests and establish relationships with teachers and peers

[Key concepts: belonging, home, family, friendship; Key processes: requesting, greeting, thanking, introducing] (ACLCHC113 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • introducing oneself to initiate conversation for example, 我叫 Johnny, 我的中文名字叫小强,你叫什么?, interacting with teachers and classmates, sharing ideas about familiar topics such as family (for example, 我有一个姐姐,一个弟弟) and daily life, for example, 我妈妈会做饺子
  • responding to questions about and describing features of their own world (for example, 我的学校不大) and seeking more information by asking questions such as 你是 Emily 的妹妹吗?
  • using pictures and prompt cards to participate in conversations
  • introducing classmates (for example, 我叫 Anna 。我五岁) and expressing gratitude, for example, 谢谢
Collaborate with others in group activities and contribute to learning activities

[Key concepts: self, family, home; Key processes: interpreting, locating] (ACLCHC114 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • making suggestions when working together and allocating jobs for members of group, for example, 我们一起唱吧;我们唱,你跳舞
  • following the teacher’s instructions and responding to questions with reasons (for example, 我不高兴, 因为我累了), using language appropriate to class context (for example, 老师,我写完了) and making requests in an appropriate manner, for example, 老师,我可以喝水吗?
  • including others and recognising participants in group work, for example, Lisa 是我的好朋友; 我们组有…
  • making cards for special cultural events such as Chinese New Year or personal events such as birthdays, copying short good wishes from modelled text, for example, 生日快乐
  • recognising and copying characters relating to various events described in books, and noticing the formation of characters and spacing
  • collecting examples of common Chinese characters found in familiar settings such as signs and labels, for example, (8), (noodles), (spring)
  • creating drawings to support written communication in cards, posters and visual displays


Locate information about people and objects from a range of sources, and sequence events

[Key concepts: same, different; Key processes: identifying, sharing] (ACLCHC115 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • sharing information with the class on topics of interest (for example, 我的宠物), providing information and answering peers’ questions, for example, 我的猫很小,有棕色和白色的毛
  • identifying details about people and events heard in media texts, including children’s educational TV programs
Convey simple information to peers using illustrations and gestures to support meaning, and respond to questions from others

[Key concepts: family, home, routines; Key processes: greeting, thanking, imitating] (ACLCHC116 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • presenting their learning by creating pictures and labelling them to elaborate concepts, for example, 春天;中秋节
  • presenting and expanding on details of the topic, and answering peers’ questions, for example, 我的猫很小,有棕色和白色的毛
  • presenting their knowledge of places in China and Australia, such as places they have visited or where they have relatives, supported with photographs, for example, 我的奶奶住在北京
  • sharing their knowledge of the world through and responding to questions from others, for example, 中国有什么动物? 澳大利亚呢? / 中国大还是澳大利亚大?/ 你抱过考拉吗?
  • creating posters on a cultural topic such as ‘Chinese food’ and selecting images and texts from magazines, newspapers and brochures to illustrate key ideas with character words such as 好吃
  • identifying familiar words and concepts drawn from recent learning in other subject areas, for example, 数学(形状) and 科学(自然现象)
  • making connections between their knowledge of the world and their Chinese learning to infer meaning of words, for example, to guess the meaning of 尾巴 in 猫有长长的尾巴, 人没有尾巴


Participate in and respond to performances and shared reading of children’s stories, songs and rhymes with a focus on rhythm, gesture and stress

[Key concept: imagination; Key processes: participating, responding] (ACLCHC117 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • performing songs and rhymes, noticing rhythmic features such as 押韵 and experimenting with stress and gestures to help convey meaning
  • interpreting language, facial expressions and other visual clues to inform own response to characters and stories presented in animations or songs
  • singing 儿歌 and 童谣 and discussing the traditional ideas and morals they convey
  • creating short plays based on extracts from familiar stories such as 《饥饿的毛毛虫, using puppets and props
Create own representations of imagined people or events using illustrations and actions

[Key concept: imagination; Key processes: sharing, experimenting, reading, viewing] (ACLCHC118 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • expressing opinions about characters or retelling the storyline after viewing or listening to stories, for example, 我觉得…真讨厌!
  • selecting words from lists to produce captions for images related to familiar narratives heard or viewed in Chinese
  • copying from models to convey meanings for a sequence of images, such as creating sequential captions for photos, pictures and paintings
  • using characters and images to convey ideas in imaginative texts, for example, using pictographs such as 马, 田,山 to illustrate an imagined event
  • experimenting with storytelling by rewriting a segment of a modelled narrative text by replacing characters, actions or descriptions of objects


Explain the English meanings of Chinese words and simple phrases heard or seen in everyday social contexts

[Key concept: belonging; Key processes: translating, moving between] (ACLCHC119 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • discussing Chinese words or expressions that appear to have no equivalent in English, for example, 不要客气,快吃吧
  • stating the English equivalent of common Chinese expressions, for example, 对不起, 没关系; 谢谢,不谢
  • discussing meanings of colloquial phrases used on specific occasions (for example, 恭喜发财 to give New Year wishes), and exploring how such sentiments are expressed in English
Create simple bilingual vocabulary lists identifying and comparing vowel and consonant sounds in Chinese and English

[Key concepts: bilingualism, vocabulary; Key processes: translating, interpreting] (ACLCHC120 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • sharing knowledge of Chinese with others, explaining features that differ from English, for example, how periods of the day are defined and word order for date and time
  • comparing ways of communicating and interacting in Chinese and English by identifying similarities and differences in features such as gestures, greetings, titles


Reflect on aspects of their Chinese identity and personal relationships with others

[Key concepts: belonging, place; Key processes: reflecting, observing, noticing (ACLCHC121 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • discussing the importance to their own identity of speaking Chinese to connect with older relatives, and the wider Chinese-speaking community, for example, 我会说中文,我可以用中文跟上海的爷爷打电话
  • sharing information about their family background, such as country of origin, languages and dialects spoken, and current locations of extended family, for example, 我爸爸是从中国来的。他会说普通话和上海话
  • sharing own likes and dislikes and discussing features that reflect their cultural identities, such as preferences relating to sport and leisure activities, food, and TV programs, for example, 我喜欢吃中国菜,也喜欢吃汉堡包
  • discussing the role of Chinese language and culture in their own lives, such as participation in cultural events, food preferences, or overseas travel

Systems of language

Recognise the four tones and their function in Chinese, and compare consonant and vowel sounds in Chinese and English (ACLCHU122 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • participating in activities aimed at raising awareness of pronouncing and differentiating between tones and syllables in Chinese and noting differences in own spoken language, for example comparing a recording of own spoken Chinese with other students in the class
  • practising the ‘flow’ of a sentence in Chinese, using gesture to help demonstrate tone and stress
  • performing or reciting texts with strong rhythmic features such as nursery rhymes or tongue twisters, for example, 《猴子穿新衣》
Recognise that characters are the written representation of spoken Chinese and the morphological nature of Chinese words (ACLCHU123 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • discussing the range of strokes and the construction of characters, and applying this understanding to differentiate between similar character forms, such as (sun) and (eye)
  • copying characters with attention to the location, direction and order of strokes
  • learning the sound and meaning of commonly seen basic characters (独体字) and components (部件), such as (tree) and (person), and making connections between basic characters and their bound forms (非成字), such as and
  • identifying components and their various forms in different locations within characters, for example, 人 、 从 、 合; 心 、 情 、 思
  • learning that Chinese words are made up of two or more characters, with each character contributing meaning to the word, for example, 大人 (literally ‘big person’) means ‘adult’
  • recognising key morphemes in word groups, for example, 白天、白雪、小白兔
  • identifying meanings of each syllable such as in xuéshēng, xuéxiào of Chinese words encountered
Recognise parts of speech and understand basic rules of word order in simple sentences (ACLCHU124 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • learning about meta-terms for word types, for example, exploring what is considered a verb in English and in Chinese (for example, adjectival verbs in Chinese)
  • categorising words into word types common across languages, for example, 家人 as noun, as number
  • understanding that as for English there are basic rules of word order in Chinese (subject-verb-object)
Recognise features of various familiar text types in Chinese (ACLCHU125 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • developing awareness of bilingual texts (for example, picture books, multimedia texts, song and dance DVDs) through immersion in text-rich environments, and noticing features of punctuation and text organisation across languages (for example, spacing between words)
  • comparing familiar texts in Chinese and English and discussing features in common, for example, storybook covers normally consist of book title, image, author’s name and illustrator’s name

Language variation and change

Recognise diversity in expressions and gestures used in everyday social interaction across cultures (ACLCHU126 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • observe and participate in interactions with a range of participants, and discuss how different people use language in different ways, for example, a range of ways of greeting and farewelling
  • understanding that gestures can enhance communication but might be interpreted differently by different people
  • learning about etiquette in everyday social contexts, such as how to address adults, for example, 王阿姨好
  • comparing language use among family members (for example, with parents and siblings), and recognising different languages (e.g. Putonghua, a dialect or English) used for different participants, for example, 我跟爸爸妈妈说中文跟哥哥说英文
Recognise Chinese as a major community language in Australia and around the world, and understand that language use varies according to cultural background (ACLCHU127 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • understanding that Chinese is used beyond their immediate and extended family
  • identifying countries and regions in the world where Chinese is used as a major language
  • recognising diversity within Chinese language, including significant regional languages spoken by family or others, such as Cantonese or Shanghainese

Role of language and culture

Recognise differences and similarities in communication across cultures, such as greetings, names and gestures (ACLCHU128 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • viewing and listening to Chinese and Australian cartoons and identifying similarities and differences
  • examining pictures of different marketplaces and noticing differences between food markets and grocery stores in China and Australia
  • observing what is the same and what is different in their classroom interactions and classroom interactions in China
  • discussing communicative practices across cultures and identifying culture-specific practices (for example 拜年) in Chinese culture, including noting culture-specific phrases used in either Chinese or English
  • recognising various ways in which familiar concepts are expressed in different cultures, such as greetings
  • using non-verbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions, for example, showing numbers 1–10 with fingers
  • recognising ways in which people express their culture in music, dance, traditional stories, food, games and celebrations
  • recognising visible expressions of identity such as flags, maps, traditional dress, and landmarks
  • exploring cultural symbols and practices through stories, songs, dances, games and crafts

Foundation to Year 2 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 2, students use spoken Chinese to initiate interactions in a range of familiar contexts. They obtain and convey information and experiences relating to their personal world in simple exchanges. They use learned vocabulary, sounds, characters and culturally specific actions and gestures to convey meaning. They exchange greetings, introduce themselves and each other, and express thanks and apologies, for example, 我的中文名字叫小强, 你叫什么? They interact with and create simple predictable imaginative and informative texts such as 我的狗很大,它的尾巴很长, using familiar characters and sounds. They use images, actions and gesture to show that they understand the meaning of words when speaking, listening, reading, viewing and writing.

Students identify the four Chinese tones and their function. They know that there is a metalanguage to describe the distinct writing and speech systems in Chinese. They compare English and Chinese consonant and vowel sounds. They copy and trace characters and identify key components in familiar characters. They identify how their Chinese identity influences some of their language choices when interacting with familiar adults and peers.