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 …


Years 3 and 4

Years 3 and 4 Band Description

The nature of the learners

Learners explore how they use more than one language in their daily lives, and use Chinese in relation to their personal world, countries where Chinese is spoken and the world of imagination.

Chinese language learning and use

Students engage with Chinese language through speaking, listening, reading, viewing and writing. They understand more words than they can say or write, and use this knowledge to attempt to say and spell unfamiliar words. Learners use Chinese to participate in action-related talk and to complete tasks. The focus of these activities is still on connecting their background oracy with their literacy.

Contexts of interaction

At this level, students are likely to focus on both formal and informal exchanges in familiar situations with familiar audiences, such as in a range of face-to-face and online/virtual environments where they are able to identify a range of responses. Likely contexts for interaction are situated within everyday educational experiences as well as students’ personal, family and social environments. In these contexts they have opportunities to notice that there are similarities and differences in the ways people communicate both within and across cultural groups.

Texts and resources

Students are exposed to a wide range of voices and settings where Chinese is used, including some extended passages in written and oral form. Students are exposed to culturally valued texts, including traditional oral texts, fables, stories, songs and picture books. They encounter various types of print and digital texts, simple chapter books, rhyming verse, poetry, nonfiction, film, multimodal texts and dramatic performances.

Features of Chinese language use

Oral language use draws on topics and concepts encountered in other learning areas, building students’ capacity to describe and explore these in Chinese. Students use Chinese to share everyday experiences with each other. They develop literacy skills by beginning to read fables and legends and write stories and recounts. Pinyin is used as a tool to develop students’ pronunciation and to assist their understanding of the nature of the spoken language. Students begin to develop orthographic and morphological awareness by exploring the relationship between characters and morphemes.

Level of support

The teacher explores and enhances students’ understanding of the similarities and differences between Chinese and English and supports their development of Chinese literacy and oracy. Vocabulary lists and model texts support literacy development.

The role of English

English is used for discussion, reflection and explanation to assist the continued development of learners’ knowledge base and intercultural capability.

Years 3 and 4 Content Descriptions


Interact and socialise with peers and teachers to exchange thoughts and feelings about home routines, leisure activities and community events

[Key concepts: recreation, routine, place; Key processes: discussing, sharing, transacting] (ACLCHC129 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • participating in conversations about home and leisure activities, expressing opinions and comparing experiences relating to hobbies, interests and routines, for example, 你喜欢做什么? , 我喜欢游泳。, 你几点放学?, 我三点放学,比较早
  • discussing topics beyond the immediate home context, including subjects from other learning areas, for example, 乘法口诀, 名人 and 地理
  • asking questions to seek permission from the teacher, for example, 我可以上厕所吗? / 老师,我们明天有没有汉语课?/ 老师,我可以用铅笔写字吗?
  • repeating the teacher’s instructions to help clarify and maintain class activities, for example, 老师说我们先看这个DVD,再做题
  • initiating and maintaining communication by taking turns (for example, making suggestions such as 我们要不要一起去 or 我们一起去吧) and responding to the suggestions of others in an appropriate manner, such as 好的, or through gesture
  • creating short texts such as emails, letters and text messages to interact with others, for example, to invite, congratulate or thank someone
  • producing short texts such as descriptions of a place or feature or the rules of behaviour for different events, situations or activities
  • participating in shared blogs, exchanging information with students from sister school, for example, 你好,我叫 Ann, 我是澳大利亚的学生
  • using emoticons such as >_<||| in digital communication to enhance meaning
Collaborate in and make decisions about group activities and learning experiences in familiar contexts

[Key concept: collaboration, public life ; Key processes: interpreting, exchanging] (ACLCHC130 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • participating in group activities and role-plays involving scenarios such as buying food or goods or ordering a meal, and making requests in an appropriate way, for example, 请来…;我想买…; 你有…吗?
  • negotiating details in a transaction, such as stating preferred size, quantity or price, and concluding the transaction with the exchange of currency
  • offering their opinions to help others in transactions, for example, 我喜欢红色的/我最喜欢那个
  • taking collective action to plan and present a cultural item, such as celebrating a festive occasion by performing a song or dance for members of school community
  • discussing cultural items to present for a school event, for example, performing a song, cooking Chinese food or making craft (剪纸, 做灯笼)
  • using digital media to produce a publicity flier for an upcoming cultural or sporting event such as 汉语比赛
  • responding to scaffolding questions about the scientific world in Chinese, for example, answering questions such as 你喜欢下雨吗?; 现在下大雨了, 我们怎么办?; 为什么有人害怕下雨呢? when learning about rain


Gather and organise factual information from familiar sources about countries and places

[Key concepts: information, fact; Key processes: obtaining, processing] (ACLCHC131 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • interviewing familiar people, such as parents, teachers, peers and community members, and appreciating their significance as sources of information about Chinese language and culture, identifying possible sources of information beyond the classroom, for example, 我可以问我的妈妈,因为她去过新加坡
  • gathering information by surveying family and friends about languages spoken, country of origin, or participation in cultural events and leisure activities, and displaying information on frequency charts
  • collating key information to share with others, such as summarising and sharing one aspect of a topic to contribute to a group response, for example, experiences of participating in organised activities involving aspects of Chinese culture (龙舟比赛;剪窗花)
  • making connections between images and charts and the content of texts, and identifying key words to locate information, for example, in the chapter titles of a book
  • identifying key structural words to assist in understanding information, for example, in a procedural text
Convey key points of information to familiar audiences

[Key concepts: information, significance; Key process: obtaining] (ACLCHC132 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • giving a short presentation to convey information gathered from multiple sources, such as investigating 南京的天气 by interviewing the teacher and listening to a podcast of a weather forecast
  • supporting presentations using pictures, charts and graphs appropriate to the task, such as using bar charts to show data on 学校学生语言背景统计表 / 班上同学使用交通工具统计表
  • reporting information from texts to explain aspects of lifestyle or culture in different communities, for example, TV guide, brochures, advertisements or timetables containing text and images
  • making posters to celebrate a special event such as 端午节, explaining the origins and stories of the festival with others
  • outlining steps in a procedure, using sequential markers such as 第一,第二,第三, for example, sequencing pictures in the correct order to demonstrate how to make dumplings
  • presenting a visual display with supporting text on a topic of personal interest, for example, 我的家,我的宠物,姥姥的家乡,过春节


Respond to simple fables and legends through discussion of characters and events

[Key concepts: morality; Key processes: creating, responding] (ACLCHC133 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • engaging with entertainment designed for young children such as TV programs, songs, plays, and games in digital media, and evaluating such forms of entertainment, for example, 我喜欢这首歌,因为它的歌词很美
  • discussing depiction and features of characters in various forms of entertainment, such as differences between characters and how these differences are demonstrated, for example, in the cartoon 《喜羊羊和灰太狼》
  • reading aloud or reciting traditional texts such as poems and rhymes (for example 《咏鹅》 、《静 夜思》、《四和十》), paying attention to pronunciation, prosody and emotion and explaining key ideas in Chinese
  • participating in shared reading and identifying how familiar words are used to express meanings in new contexts, for example, 盘古的眼睛变成太阳, 头发变成星星,血液变成江河湖海
  • presenting stories to peers, paying attention to storytelling techniques such as 停顿; 语气语调; 抑扬顿挫
Create short personal narratives and performances of poetry, song, dance or drama which reflect the culture and traditions of the Chinese community

[Key concepts: imagination, point of view; Key processes: responding, expressing] (ACLCHC134 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • creating performances in response to legends and other forms of culturally significant literature such as 《盘古开天辟地》, or segments of 《西游记》
  • creating simple narratives of the day in the life of a person, animal or fictional character (for example, 《小狗汪汪的一天》), sequencing events and using supporting images
  • using digital media to create an imaginative story to share with peers and Chinese-speaking contacts, using both language and images to achieve particular effects, for example, using 重复(很大很大的球; 走啊走啊走啊)
  • plotting a storyline, considering: Who is the main character? How can I make this character interesting to readers? How can I sequence my story to grab the reader’s attention?
  • considering alternative endings to well-known stories, using learnt sequences and teacher guidance


Identify common spoken Chinese expressions and discuss examples of actions, words and phrases that do not readily translate into English

[Key concepts: equivalence, idiom; Key processes: translating, identifying, discussing] (ACLCHC135 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • differentiating between word-by-word meaning and intended meaning when translating from Chinese into English, for example, the word-by-word translation of 我喜欢一个人看书 is ‘I like one person to read’, but it means ‘I like to read alone’
  • designing bilingual signs (characters/Pinyin/English) to post on key buildings and rooms around the school that convey short messages such as descriptions of the place or the rules in that place
  • recognising the role that gesture plays in oral interaction, including emblematic (hand) gestures, gesturing for emphasis and inclusivity, and taboos within Chinese communication, such as pointing directly at someone
  • identifying Chinese symbols in print and digital texts (for example, the longevity symbol), and developing ways to convey the culturally attached value when expressing the meaning of these symbols in English
  • comparing own translation of short texts (such as brand names, signs, slogans and billboard advertisements) to others’, and evaluating the effectiveness of own translation
  • developing strategies for using bilingual (Chinese–English and English–Chinese) dictionaries in both print and digital forms to assist with translation
  • explaining in English features of gestures used in Chinese, for example, hand gestures for numbers
  • comparing versions of a common text across languages and identifying issues in conveying meaning, for example, how to render 小心轻放 into English
Translate simple English texts into Chinese and vice versa, using strategies for building vocabulary and interpreting intended meaning of words in English and Chinese

[Key concepts: morphology, bilingualism; Key processes: identifying, translating, interpreting] (ACLCHC136 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • considering alternative ways of interpreting ideas, such as giving examples, looking for synonyms (近义词), and elaborating on details
  • creating bilingual texts to share with others, for example, adding English to a Chinese New Year poster or couplet, adding Chinese headings to an Australian tourism promotion brochure, adding Chinese to a class weekly timetable


Reflect on their reactions and responses to others when participating in learning and cultural experiences in Chinese and Australian contexts

[Key concepts: identity, place; Key processes: responding, identifying] (ACLCHC137 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying levels of politeness, respect and formality in diverse contexts, for example, when seeking assistance, when engaging with people of different ages or authority
  • deciding how best to address and refer to others (for example, addressing an older stranger as 姐姐 or 阿姨 in Chinese) and considering how that person would be addressed in English
  • identifying ways in which their Chinese identity is reflected in their daily life and interests, for example, belonging to a sports or hobby group or attending community school
  • considering their linguistic and cultural skills as Chinese and as Australians and how these contribute to their overall sense of identity
  • comparing Chinese and Australian lifestyles such as festivals and celebrations, food staples, preferences and cooking styles, and discussing own engagement with these
  • noticing differences in cultural practices and the protocol for certain events, such as 我去表哥家要先叫人,大姨好,大姨夫好;如果他们要留我吃饭,我要先问妈妈可不可以;如果阿姨叫我多吃一点, 我不能吃太多,最好得客气客气
  • participating in cultural events (for example, watching a China–Australia soccer match, performing a Chinese song to the school community, or celebrating Anzac Day) and reflecting on own reactions

Systems of language

Recognise the tonal features of Chinese in own speech, and understand when and why some tones are not expressed in some contexts and how syllables are decoded from and encoded into Pinyin (ACLCHU138 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • differentiating between the four tones when speaking, and knowing how to pronounce the ‘neutral tone’
  • understanding the aesthetic features of reading out loud 朗诵 and reciting 背诵, focusing on phrasing, stress and intonation of Chinese spoken language
Identify the form, composition and spacing within characters, relating components and their positions to their meaning and sound (ACLCHU139 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • developing fine motor skills appropriate to Chinese writing conventions (方块字), and learning about Chinese writing conventions, including direction of text and punctuation
  • applying rules of stroke direction and stroke order when writing characters, paying attention to details such as length of a stroke to discriminate similar forms, for example, and
  • developing skills in identifying the structure and components of a compound character, for example, has two components and they are of top-and-bottom structure
  • categorising characters with common components (such as 花、草、菜), and making connections between meanings and sounds of components and meanings and sounds of characters, for example, (eye) in (to look at)
  • recognising the use of traditional and simplified characters in the local community (for example, 《大洋时报》 uses traditional characters), exploring texts in both forms of characters and analysing differences in orthography, for example, and
  • identifying personal connections with one or both forms of characters, for example, 我妈妈教我写简体字,因为妈妈是从北京来的
  • inferring meaning of unfamiliar words from known morphemes, for example, 学生、学校、小学
  • understanding that a character might have multiple meanings, for example, that means ‘cold’ in 冷水 and ‘quiet’ in 冷清
Develop ways to structure sentences in Chinese to elaborate own ideas (ACLCHU140 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • elaborating ideas in sentences, including details such as time, place and manner, for example, 星期一我从上海坐飞机到北京
  • learning meta-terms to describe grammar rules in Chinese, for example, the placement of 主语 (subject), 动词 (verb), 名词 (noun) in sentences
  • recognising that there are multiple ways to structure a sentence, such as 我吃了早饭后去学校 and 吃了早饭后我去学校
Recognise similarities and differences in the structure of spoken and written texts that have the same purpose (ACLCHU141 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • recognising features of various genres, including narratives and explanatory texts, identifying which genres are most suitable for different purposes, for example, 记叙文记叙一个事情,比如说《我最喜欢的假期》
  • identifying differences and similarities in language choices and text structure across spoken and written texts, for example, comparing an announcement with a public notice
  • comparing and differentiating forms of texts based on purpose and audience, for example, asking: What’s the difference between a letter and an email? What might be the reasons for such differences?
  • applying cohesive devices in producing imaginative texts, correspondence and informative texts, for example, beginning a story with 很久很久以前

Language variation and change

Recognise how the context of interactions influences language choices (ACLCHU142 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • addressing others appropriately, for example, using 王老师 with teacher, 张叔叔 with young adult males, nicknames with close relatives (欢欢表妹)
  • differentiating language use based on different functions, for example, making commands (过来!) or making requests (你可以过来一下吗?)
  • discussing differences in language use at home and at school, for example, comparing how to ask for permission to use a computer (老师,我可以用电脑吗? and 我就是要用电脑!)
Explore diversity in dialects and in contexts in which Chinese is used in Australian communities (ACLCHU143 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying locations of major dialect groups in China, discussing environmental and historical reasons for the existence of dialects, and appreciating the value of a common language
  • making personal connections with particular dialects of Chinese, asking peers which dialects are spoken in their families, and inviting others to say a few words in their own dialect, for example, 我爷爷说广东话
  • investigating diversity in spoken Chinese and identifying differences in phonology across dialects, for example, exploring greetings in dialects such as Cantonese, Hakka and Shanghainese, and comparing the pronunciation of words
  • accessing local Chinese media such as radio stations, satellite TV stations, and newspapers, and viewing Chinese programs in mainstream media (such as Chinese news programs or websites) to enhance their appreciation of Chinese language use in local media and explore the extent of their comprehension of Chinese used in diverse contexts
  • discussing reasons why Chinese is used in communities within Australia, and making personal connections to these reasons, for example, 我父母是丛香港来的,他们说广东话

Role of language and culture

Explore how the Chinese language represents cultural meanings in specific ways (ACLCHU144 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying culturally specific terms and phrases, for example, ‘mate’ in Australian English and 吃了吗 in Chinese, and sharing insights into why particular cultures value certain colloquial language
  • associating the literal and cultural meanings of words and expressions such as 红红火火
  • discussing the contextual and cultural meanings of words that cannot be directly translated into another language, for example, translating 手足 as ‘brothers’
  • reading Chinese idioms (成语故事; for example, 《指鹿为马》、《狐假虎威》、《买椟还珠》、《拔苗助长》), and discussing their meanings; exploring the relevance and significance of these idioms to contemporary life and how these phrases are used in daily communication, such as 生日快乐 for birthdays, 大吉大利 for New Year and 团团圆圆 for Mid-Autumn Festival

Years 3 and 4 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 4, students use spoken and written Chinese to initiate interactions and to participate in short exchanges, for example, 你晚饭吃什么?,我学汉语和英语,站起来, 大家听老师说. They organise and convey factual information and share experiences in formal and informal situations, making appropriate choices of characters, words and pronunciation. They use demonstratives such as 这、那、那些 with measure words and verbs to indicate agreement (对,好的)and preferences (要、想、喜欢). They respond to and create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for familiar audiences and identified purposes. Students select from known speech patterns to meet routine, procedural and informal conversational needs.

Students know that Pinyin represents spoken language, and map Pinyin against their own speech. They distinguish between the contexts in which tones are expressed and those in which they are not. They identify features of the Chinese writing system, including the range of strokes and their sequences in character writing; and the relationship between components and sound and meaning. Students identify ways of structuring ideas in sentences, including the role of correct sequencing of time and place. They describe features of Chinese language and culture, and compare how ideas are conveyed across languages and cultures.