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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.

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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 …

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Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 Band Description

The nature of the learners

Students are beginning their study of Chinese and typically have had little prior exposure to the language and associated cultures. Many will have learnt an additional language in primary school, some have proficiency in different home languages and bring existing language learning strategies and intercultural awareness to the new experience of learning Chinese. Students’ textual knowledge developed through English literacy learning supports their ability to access similar text types in Chinese. Skills in analysing, comparing and reflecting on language and culture in both languages are mutually supportive. Students may need encouragement to take risks in learning a new language at this stage of social development and to consider issues of how the experience impacts on their sense of ‘norms’ associated with their first language and culture.

Chinese language learning and use

The systems of spoken and written language in Chinese are distinct. They are also quite distinct from the English language system. Because of the role of character learning and its impact on reading and writing, learners’ spoken language use is more advanced than their written language use; therefore, students will be immersed in the sights and sounds of Chinese. They develop oral language through active listening, observing interactions between native speakers, and using the spoken language for purposes such as socialising, transacting and getting things done, sharing information and engaging in imaginative performance. They are likely to understand more words than they can say or write. They use Pinyin as a resource to support learning, prepare drafts of oral and written texts, and learn new oral vocabulary.

Contexts of interaction

Likely contexts for interaction are familiar classroom routines and structured and scaffolded settings. Students engage with resources and materials, and interact and exchange information and ideas with the teacher and peers.

Texts and resources

Students listen to, read, view and interact with a variety of short modified informative, imaginative and persuasive Chinese texts, including texts that are valued within Chinese culture and community. Texts written in characters may include a Pinyin glossary or character/vocabulary lists as appropriate.

Features of Chinese language use

Learning is conceptual and reflective as students develop their ability to share ideas about language and culture systems and develop their skills in mediating between languages and cultures. Learning and use focus on active exploration of the Chinese language system, which students draw upon to communicate their own ideas and engage in collaborative decision making and action.

Level of support

Correct language use is continuously modelled by the teacher. Students also utilise a range of resources, including online support materials, as well as dictionaries, character lists and glossaries.

The role of English

English is used when appropriate to allow for explanation and discussion and to reflect on students’ experiences in Chinese, comparing their everyday communication and experiences to those observed in Chinese language communities.


Years 7 and 8 Content Descriptions

Socialising

Exchange feelings, ideas and opinions, establish and maintain friendships and participate in group action

[Key concepts: naming, friendship, politeness, family; Key processes: interacting, exchanging, describing] (ACLCHC081 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • exchanging greetings with peers and familiar adults, choosing appropriate greetings to suit age or position (for example, 您好,老师 好) or time of day (for example, 你早,晚安), and using appropriate tone and intonation
  • sharing personal ideas and opinions on experiences such as home life and routine, school and education, diet and food, travel and leisure, climate and weather, expressing opinions and preferences and stating reasons to elaborate the message, for example, 我不太喜欢…、我觉得…因为
  • engaging in class discussion by responding to questions such as 你喜欢运动吗?, expressing agreement and disagreement with others’ opinions (for example, 对,我也很喜欢运动), and making sure that other participants are included in the interaction, for example, 我去过法国,你呢?
  • using set phrases to greet, thank, apologise and ask permission from peers and teacher, for example, 我可以上厕所吗?;谢谢;对不起
  • comparing own experiences to the lives of young Chinese people, for example, 我觉得 7:30上学太早。 我不坐地铁上学,我坐公共汽车上学
Correspond and collaborate with peers, relating aspects of their daily experiences and arranging sporting and leisure activities

[Key concepts: time, etiquette, place, collaboration; Key processes: exchanging, corresponding] (ACLCHC082 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • participating in posting on a shared blog and exchanging personal information (for example, name, age, nationality, school and year level) with students from sister schools, for example, 你好,我叫Ann, 我是澳大利亚的学生
  • responding to correspondence (such as emails, letters or postcards) by answering questions, clarifying meaning (for example, 你说你想来澳大利亚, 是吗?), seeking further information (for example, 你想一月份来吗?) and addressing requests, for example, 澳大利亚一月是夏天,很热
  • using supporting images in own writing, for example, using emoticons such as >_<||| to enhance meaning in digital communication
  • using digital media to produce a bilingual publicity flier for an upcoming cultural or sporting event (for example, 汉语角), to promote Chinese learning among school community members

Informing

Locate and share with known audiences factual information about people, places and events from a range of oral texts

[Key concepts: time, place, number, audience, purpose; Key processes: summarising, synthesising] (ACLCHC083 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • listening to or viewing public information texts such as weather forecasts and announcements, and identifying specific information and key words, for example, 点, 度,米, 公里,元/块
  • viewing audiovisual texts such as a cooking program and answering questions from classmates about the key steps and main ingredients, for example, ‘蚂蚁上树’没有蚂蚁。树是粉丝,蚂蚁是猪肉
  • obtaining the gist or specific information in spoken texts by focusing on familiar, predictable items in a flow of words, as well as features of voice, gesture and word choice, for example recognising the emotion and degree of enthusiasm or dislike expressed (for example, 我一点儿也不喜欢… compared to 我不喜欢…)
  • representing gathered information by restating key phrases and explaining reasons for actions and feelings, for example, 她很高兴, 因为…
  • preparing short presentations of data collected from various sources, including texts in English on familiar people, places and events (for example, 澳大利亚的总理, 澳洲旅游景点,我是澳大利亚人), and creating supporting visual images such as a timeline
Locate factual information about life in other communities and about aspects of Australian life, including data from graphs and tables, and convey this information to known audiences

[Key concepts: fact, time, place, number, valued knowledge; Key processes: informing, obtaining, processing, stating] (ACLCHC084 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • locating and identifying key information in written texts such as timetables, calendars, brochures and advertisements, recognising familiar features of texts and organisation of content, and the word/phrase boundaries in sentences such as 我们学校/有/二百八十七/个/学生/
  • identifying the categories used to organise graphs and tables by considering common themes across examples listed, for example, deducing that the heading 国籍 means ‘nationality’ by determining the meanings of 中国,澳大利亚 in a table column
  • reading familiar text types such as shopping brochures, understanding particular phrases such as 八折, and working out the final price, with the support of online dictionaries and word lists
  • recognising markers of time (for example, 第二天) in a sequence of events to monitor information flow and assist reading for overall meaning
  • presenting information in alternative formats to suit different purposes and the needs of the reader, for example, creating graphs or tables to categorise information when contrasting 澳大利亚和中国的地理

Creating

Express opinions about imagined characters and events seen and heard in contemporary media and performances, and create own portrayals of characters using gesture, action, stress, and modelled phrases

[Key concepts: experience, emotion, character; Key processes: performing, expressing, responding] (ACLCHC085 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • watching segments of texts in Chinese, such as popular music videos from various sources of media, and expressing personal opinions, for example, 我觉得…很有意思
  • performing Chinese songs and experimenting with rhythm, voice, emotion and gesture to convey the intended sentiment and meaning of songs and rhymes and enhance performance
  • comparing stories and characters in both Chinese and Australian popular media, and exploring themes and topics that interest young people from different cultural backgrounds, such as 澳大利亚的年轻人也很喜欢看动作片。成龙很有名
  • creating short plays or skits and taking on roles in imagined scenarios such as visiting or hosting a Chinese friend, a shopping experience or a fashion show
  • assuming the role of a young Chinese person in the performance of a play about, for example, celebrating Chinese New Year
  • creating and performing a rap about learning Chinese, experimenting with voice, gesture and action to convey different emotions and attitudes, including use of word stress to alter the way meaning is expressed and interpreted, for example, exploring the implications of expressing 不要 with varying degrees of volume and emphasis
Respond to simple narratives and create short texts about imagined characters and events

[Key concepts: experience, imagination; Key processes: recounting, responding] (ACLCHC086 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • creating digital stories by producing labels for pictures, photos and cartoons in combination with sound, voice and music to convey a sequence of events in imagined contexts
  • reading jokes or cartoons in Chinese and discussing how humour is conveyed through words and the presentation of ideas, comparing this to humour in English and discussing whether ‘entertainment’ means the same thing in different languages and cultures
  • reading short texts such as comics and cartoons, and matching labels and speech to the characters to convey ideas and emotions, for example, using euphemistic phrases to capture the emotions and reactions of characters (真的吗?真倒霉!哎呀!)
  • 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?

Translating

Translate simple texts from Chinese to English and vice versa, identifying words and phrases in Chinese that do not readily translate into English, using contextual cues, action and gesture to assist translation

[Key concept: politeness symbols; Key processes: translating, interpreting] (ACLCHC087 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • translating English texts into Chinese, focusing on overall meaning, and identifying how best to interpret key words, for example, the use of after first-, second- and third-person pronouns; numbers with measure words; possessives with ; plurals
  • identifying Chinese symbols in print and digital texts (for example, the longevity symbol), and developing ways to include the culturally attached value when expressing the meaning of these symbols in English
  • learning how to look up unfamiliar characters and words in bilingual dictionaries, and experimenting with different online dictionaries and translation tools to investigate how specific meanings are rendered into English
  • translating public texts in Chinese (for example, signs in shops and restaurants) into English and explaining their possible meaning and purpose, for example, translating the sign 休息中 on an unlit shop window to mean ‘closed’ instead of its literal translation, ‘resting’
  • using etiquette phrases within appropriate contexts and discussing whether the translation of 对不起 is the same across contexts, for example comparing its meaning in 对不起,让一让 and 对不起,我错了
Interpret common colloquial phrases and culturally specific practices from Chinese contexts into Australian contexts and vice versa, identifying contextual restraints and considering alternatives

[Key concepts: equivalence, representation; Key process: translating] (ACLCHC088 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • watching interactions in Chinese between peers or in texts (for example, viewing a segment of a movie), and interpreting the meaning of the dialogue as well as comparing culturally determined manners or behaviour
  • interpreting key ideas from Chinese to English with explanation of the context and the use of fixed phrases, for example, discussing what Chinese parents would say to their child when dropping them off at school as the Chinese version of ‘Have a good day’ (听老师的话,不要调皮); what is the English version of 加油; and why people say 加油 at a Chinese sports event
  • explaining key cultural concepts and practices to English speakers through translation, for example: Do we translate 春节 as ‘Spring Festival’ or ‘Chinese New Year’? Why is 端午节 called ‘dragon boat festival’ in English? Does this translation capture the essence of this celebration? What is lost in translation? What are similar examples in English?
  • considering how aspects of life in Australia that are culturally determined or reflect culture-specific behaviours may be rendered in Chinese, such as Anzac Day, Australia Day, the Ashes cricket

Reflecting

Reflect on personal experiences and observations of using and learning Chinese language in familiar contexts, and use these reflections to improve communication

[Key concepts: respect, context; Key processes: reflecting, observing] (ACLCHC089 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • discussing appropriate language choices across cultures, for example, when meeting people for the first time or interacting with older people (such as a parent’s friend); how presentation of the residential address in Chinese and English reflects certain values in the different cultures
  • reflecting on their own English language use in response to their observations of Chinese speakers, for example, the words they use (slang, complex terminology), how they speak (tone, accent), and how they vary their language in different contexts and with different people
  • engaging with Chinese speakers through organised school activities (such as Skyping students at a Chinese school or welcoming visitors to own school), recording moments when difficulty is experienced in communication and reflecting on the cause of this difficulty
  • reflecting on aspects of their own identity, including what their membership of diverse groups says about who they are and what they consider important, for example, 我是澳大利亚人和日本人;我是老大;我参加学校的足球队
  • noticing how relationships with others — for example, friendship groups (我的朋友是 Lisa George, 我们都很聪明), ethnic group (我是德裔澳大利亚人) — influence language choices and preferences for learning content
  • selecting information to share with a particular audience (for example, students from a sister school in China), asking: Why do I think this information is important to represent who I am? Why do I think my audience would find this information interesting and relevant?
  • comparing expressions of identity encountered in Chinese texts and interactions with their own sense of identity, for example, 他是美籍华人
  • observing interactions between Chinese speakers, and discussing the context and language use (for example, a family eating out in a restaurant, noticing seating arrangements, the background environment and how dishes are ordered and presented) and how this compares to their own experience
  • discussing how language and gesture are used to communicate in English and how these features would be understood when interacting with Chinese people; identifying how their communication styles may need to be altered when conveying ideas in Chinese

Systems of language

Recognise the tone-syllable nature of the spoken language, discriminate use of tones, rhythm, and sound flow in interactions, and use Pinyin to support learning the spoken language (ACLCHU090 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • exploring key features of Chinese phonology, examining the range of sounds and recognising how spoken syllables and tones are represented in Pinyin, by spelling words in Pinyin, or reading aloud words and sentences in Pinyin with attention to pronunciation, tone and phrasing
  • differentiating between sounds and tones when listening to or producing spoken Chinese, for example, distinguishing between 我买 / 我卖东西, or between (zhuang) and (zhuan)
  • recognising and discriminating between homonyms in Chinese (for example, shì and ), relying on context to assist understanding, and differentiating syllables with different tones, for example, shì () and shí ()
Identify how character structure, position and component sequences relate the form of a character to its particular sound and meaning (ACLCHU091 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • learning the number, nature and sequence of strokes; exploring the range of stroke types used in characters; learning to write with a focus on stroke direction and order, and on balance and proportion within the square
  • comparing writing across languages, recognising differences in stroke sequences and word formation (letter strings versus character squares), word spacing, punctuation and text direction
  • learning the origins and features of components encountered in characters, and analysing the formation of characters, including recognising the frequency and positioning of common components (for example, 人、女、日、月) and their function or relationship to a compound character, for example, 人 in 他、认、从
  • decoding characters by analysing their structure and the number of components, and recognising familiar components
  • applying their knowledge of characters to learn to read and write new characters, and developing strategies for learning, for example, making connections between characters with a common component (你、他、们)
  • identifying contextual meanings of key morphemes in diverse contexts, for example, 天,日,二/两,你好 versus 好玩
  • identifying the relationships between the meaning of individual morphemes in words and exploring how these morphemes apply in a wider range of word contexts
  • explaining the use of common suffixes (子、里、面) and key morphemes (电、家、物、机)
  • understanding how new concepts are interpreted in Chinese by analysing the nature of technology-related terms expressed in Chinese, for example, 电脑、短信、博客
Identify and use the characteristics of Chinese word order and explain the use of Chinese-specific grammatical features (ACLCHU092 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • analysing the variety of verb types found in Chinese — for example, adjectival verbs (高、大) and modal verbs (会、可以) — and the placement and use of adverbs, for example, to indicate inclusion; to indicate sequence
  • identifying the placement of time and place phrases; the use of conjunctions (for example, to add information; 还是/或者 to offer or indicate choices); and the role of measure words, for example, 个、只
  • exploring the clauses of a sentence in Chinese and noticing how they are linked coherently, for example, 他叫王晓明,(他) 是我的朋友 (zero subject/pronoun)
  • explaining the concept of ‘tense’ across languages, for example, asking: What tense is used in English to share ideas about a future activity? Can you exemplify how future tense is used in English? How is future tense expressed in Chinese? (我明天去北京,下个星期去上海)
  • applying processes of discourse development by joining, contrasting and sequencing using 也、和、但是、就, and exploring the use of cohesive devices and ways of extending, sequencing and elaborating ideas, for example, through the use of connectives, conjunctions and subject pronouns
Identify the characteristics of familiar text types, noting particular textual features distinctive to Chinese (ACLCHU093 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • exploring features and conventions of Chinese texts, including lack of word spacing and punctuation, and variability in text direction, and comparing texts in traditional characters with texts in simplified characters
  • describing the major features of familiar text types in Chinese (for example, narratives), and experimenting with analysing Chinese texts, for example, recognising the ‘problem’ and the ‘resolution’ in a narrative
  • comparing textual features and language used in different types of written communication within and across languages, for example: How does the formatting of a letter and an email differ in English? Why are there such differences? How does the formatting of a letter in English compare to Chinese formatting?
  • discussing how the organisation of information reflects concepts of hierarchy and authority, for example, the placement of the date in personal correspondence; how the address is organised on a letter (小区名,楼号,楼, for example, 龙江小区蓝天园15栋2单元504室)
  • comparing textual and linguistic features in diverse forms of written Chinese texts, such as letters, emails and text messages, and exploring the use of visual symbols such as emoticons in digital correspondence
  • experimenting with features of text presentation in Chinese, for example, text direction, word spacing, punctuation, and overall paragraph format when using squared paper

Language variation and change

Recognise diversity in Chinese language use within different communities and regions, such as dialects, and local languages and character systems (ACLCHU094 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • exploring ways Chinese language use is fostered among local communities and the use of Chinese in local media such as community radio, TV, newspapers and magazines
  • identifying examples of Chinese language used in commercial shop signs, advertisements, food and product packaging, and public notices in local areas, and exploring diversity in Chinese character texts by viewing texts containing diverse styles and fonts, including calligraphy scripts, handwriting and digital fonts
  • exploring the range and distinctiveness of different dialects in Chinese-speaking communities, including those dialects regularly used in the local community
  • knowing that China’s minority nationalities have their own languages and exploring the issues in language maintenance in such contexts
Identify traditional phrases and contemporary terms in everyday language use and the role of technology in changing the way people communicate (ACLCHU095 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • discussing contexts where 繁体字 and 简体字 are used in Chinese-speaking communities today and exploring the use of these scripts as an expression of local identity, for example, in Hong Kong and Taiwan, or in local temples, signs and newspapers
  • understanding the nature of and reasons for the simplification process by analysing and comparing characters in both systems (简体字 and 繁体字), for example, 门-門;国-國;这-這
  • appreciating the role of myths, legends and 成语 in contemporary language use, for example, reading texts containing 成语, such as 井底之蛙,画龙点睛 within 成语故事, and discussing their intended meaning, and the cultural importance of classical language employed in contemporary contexts
  • discussing how languages influence each other, for example, how foreign concepts are represented in Chinese; interpreting the meanings of transliterations such as 可口可乐, translations such as 热狗, and hybrid forms such as 因特网
  • noticing the use of English phrases and sentences in Chinese interactions (for example, 拜拜, or a few lines of English in a Chinese pop song), and discussing the reason for the ‘code-switching’

The role of language and culture

Discuss how language choices reflect cultural practices, including clarifying roles and relationships between participants in interactions (ACLCHU096 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • discussing cultural values reflected in language use (for example, in relation to celebrations) and how they influence interactions, for example, by asking: In the colloquial phrase 合家团圆, what is 团圆? Why wish people 团圆? Does this have the same meaning in Australian culture? What’s the relationship between the language use and the Chinese values in this phrase?
  • identifying aspects taken for granted in communication (for example, a shared understanding of gesture, body movement and word meanings), and comparing ways people interact across cultures, asking, for example: How do Chinese people use gesture? Which non-verbal cues are shared with English speakers? Do they mean the same thing in both cultures? How does not understanding these differences impact on how we perceive each other?
  • exploring the nature of the concept of ‘family’ in Chinese culture and how this influences relationships between individuals, for example, addressing adults as 叔叔 or 阿姨
  • experimenting with multiple ways of expressing similar meanings in Chinese (for example, 你叫什么? 你叫什么名字? 你几岁?你多大?) and discussing the differences in the context of use
  • discussing how different roles and relationships are reflected in or impacted by word choices, for example, whether/when it is appropriate to ask someone’s age, when to say 你几岁? or 你多大了? or when to use 你属什么?
  • considering the different ways of addressing people in authority (李老师;王校长) and how this reflects the importance of respect and hierarchy in Chinese culture

Years 7 and 8 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 8, students use spoken and written Chinese to interact in a range of familiar contexts. They respond to instructions, questions and directions. They use known phrases to exchange personal information (for example, 我叫…; 我的爸爸是澳大利亚人), seek clarification (for example, 对不起,我听不懂,你说什么?), and transact and make arrangements, for example, 你要来我家吗? They use the question particle 吗 and familiar question words (什么,谁,哪儿,几). Students approximate tone, intonation and rhythm but meaning remains clear. They use gesture and some formulaic expressions to support oral interaction. They employ learnt vocabulary to express personal insights and compare experiences on topics of personal interest and significance. They connect ideas using basic cohesive devices (for example, 和,可是,所以), express opinions using 喜欢 and 觉得, and give reasons using 因为. In writing, students organise their ideas using time expressions and phrases which mark sequence, for example, 第一,第二… They apply and 没有 in familiar phrases. They respond to and create simple informative and imaginative texts for known audiences and purposes. They use a range of verbs, including verbs of identification and existence such as , and a range of action verbs to describe interests and events, for example, 踢足球,打乒乓球,听音乐. They access and organise information from a range of spoken, audiovisual and printed texts. Students use simple sentences and paragraphs, and produce simple descriptions using intensifiers such as 很,非常,最. They reflect on their interactions when using and learning languages.

Students are aware of the key features of the Chinese writing system and its differences to the English writing system. They recognise the function of tone-syllables and Pinyin. They explain the word order of Chinese sentences and the layout and construction of simple familiar Chinese texts in comparison to their English equivalents. They recognise and describe diversity within the Chinese spoken and written language, and consider the influence of culture on everyday communication, for example, concepts such as respect, politeness and the importance of family. They are aware that literal translation between languages is not always possible, and that aspects of interpretation and translation are affected by context, culture, and intercultural experience.


Years 7 and 8 Work Sample Portfolios