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

Children enter the early years of schooling with established oracy skills in one or more languages and varying degrees of early literacy capability. For young students, learning typically focuses on their immediate world of family, home, school, friends and neighbourhood. They are learning how to socialise with new people, share with others, and participate in structured routines and activities at school. Typically, they have little to no experience of Chinese language and culture.

Chinese language learning and use

The systems of writing and speaking in Chinese are distinct. The sights and sounds of Chinese are also quite distinct from English. Students therefore are immersed as much as possible in the sounds and spoken words of Chinese, the meaning of which is made clear through participation in active listening and action-related talk, gestures, dramatisation and games. Students are introduced to common characters associated with routines and their immediate experience, and draw on explicit models to communicate.

Contexts of interaction

Students socialise in structured situations and activities in the classroom and at school, with a focus on topics such as self, home, family, and daily routines. They begin to explore Chinese language and culture by participating in experiences such as celebrations; where relevant, they identify similarities and differences between Chinese culture and their own and other cultures.

Texts and resources

Students engage with a variety of texts and text modes, including picture and caption books, songs, cartoons and movies. They hear the different sounds of Chinese in stimulus material such as stories read aloud, multimedia resources and internet sites.

Features of Chinese language use

Learners are immersed in listening to, viewing and reading Chinese. They become aware of Chinese as an alternative code to English and that other languages exist within their own classroom, their country and overseas. They begin to recognise the importance of tone in Chinese speech and observe that the sounds of Chinese can be encoded in Pinyin using familiar letters. Students view characters through appropriate text types that may be glossed in Pinyin. They learn to recognise characters that represent familiar objects and ideas and convey significant cultural meanings.

Level of support

Visual displays, gesture, and specific and concrete contextual clues are continuously used to support understanding. Teachers model correct language use, which provides the main source of students’ development in Chinese. Learners will experiment with various software and technologies as communication tools.

The role of English

English is used by teachers and learners as appropriate for clarification, reflection, questioning and explanation, to support learners to comprehend and acquire Chinese.

Foundation to Year 2 Content Descriptions


Participate in class routines, structured conversations and activities using teacher-modelled tones and rhythms

[Key concepts: self, family; Key processes: participating, imitating, listening] (ACLCHC001 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • reproducing the sounds used in greetings, for example, 早, 你好,王老师,、 再见
  • listening to and engaging with the rhythms and sound patterns in conversations with teachers and peers, mimicking and practising the tones
  • responding to teacher talk and instructions, for example, 站起来 and 请坐
  • participating in games through action, for example, Simon Says (老师说)
  • 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
  • learning to use gesture in communication to help convey meaning, for example, using Chinese finger gestures to show numbers
  • sharing personal information about oneself and family with peers, for example, 我有弟弟。我爱我的妈妈
Interact with simple written texts in familiar contexts to contribute to class discussions

[Key concepts: self, family; Key processes: reading, planning] (ACLCHC002 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • collecting examples of common Chinese characters found in familiar settings such as signs and labels, for example, 八 (8),面 (‘noodles’), (‘spring’)
  • discussing the differences between the Roman alphabet and characters, for example, compare the sound and shape of each
  • labelling images of family from a provided list of characters, for example, 妈妈,爸爸,哥哥,妹妹
  • recognising and copying high-frequency characters relating to family and number, and noticing the formation and spacing of characters
  • recognising the differences in describing family members in Chinese and English, for example, ‘brothers’ can be 哥哥 or 弟弟 in Chinese
  • labelling and illustrating a class photo wall of a shared event or visit


Locate information about family and familiar events from spoken and visual sources and convey this information in simple visual and oral texts

[Key concepts: self, family, information; Key processes: describing, conveying] (ACLCHC003 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • using teacher scaffolding (for example, ‘We are going to listen for the information about the boy’s family members: what words might be used?’) to predict content before listening to spoken texts
  • matching information heard with pictures or other visual clues, such as identifying colours and fruit in game and real-life situations
  • sequencing pictures to describe events, guided by the teacher
  • responding to questions and retelling information obtained from listening to and viewing scaffolded models of texts, such as a video clip or an avatar of a Chinese student
  • practising tone, actions and gestures that support meaning to share information
  • expressing preferences, for example, 喜欢,不喜欢
Locate and present information about familiar objects, people and personal interests using visual and contextual cues

[Key concepts: self, family, home, routines; Key processes: obtaining, processing] (ACLCHC004 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • tracing, copying and practising using individual characters, such as the numbers 1–10 (一, 二, 三, 四, 五…)
  • cutting and pasting characters from a provided set to make a mini book
  • selecting characters to label pictures and make a greeting card or postcard


Respond to and create simple Chinese stories, songs and rhymes, reproducing rhythm and sound patterns to express feelings

[Key concept: imagination] (ACLCHC005 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • viewing cartoons or segments of movies based on traditional Chinese stories, such as 《大闹天宫》
  • performing songs and dances in groups, for example,《朋友就是你》 and 《生日快乐》
  • reciting poems and nursery rhymes
Create short imaginative written texts using images and copied characters

[Key concepts: morality; Key processes: illustrating, copying] (ACLCHC006 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • creating storyboards for well-known Chinese stories such as Mulan or Pangu (盘古)
  • captioning or labelling illustrations on storyboards, practising the strokes of high-frequency characters
  • participating in the shared reading of books, making predictions about characters and events from the cover and illustrations
  • listening to Chinese idiom stories and retelling these stories using illustrations


Identify equivalent or similar Chinese words or phrases for familiar objects or terms in English

[Key concepts: similarity, difference; Key processes: translating, connecting, interpreting] (ACLCHC007 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • matching words and phrases spoken in Chinese to images, objects or words in English, such as classroom objects (书包, 笔), to develop vocabulary
  • stating the English equivalent of common expressions in Chinese (for example, phrases such as 对不起, 没关系; 谢谢,不谢) for the benefit of classmates
  • explaining the meaning of Chinese words to classmates
Identify common Chinese characters and words in Pinyin using contextual cues

[Key concepts: self, family, home, routines; Key processes: interpreting, analysing, copying, tracing, shaping] (ACLCHC008 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • experimenting with using high-frequency Chinese sounds to transcribe simple common words into Pinyin, such as
  • developing a class list of contextual cues such as images, text structure and other features that would help with understanding meaning
  • typing known or given list of Pinyin words into an online dictionary to turn the Pinyin into characters to express good wishes, such as ‘Happy birthday’ (zhὺ nĭ shēng rì kuài le◊ 祝你生日快乐!)
  • using flashcards to indicate likes and dislikes, for example, 喜欢 / 不喜欢


Notice aspects of Chinese language and culture that are ‘new’ or ‘interesting’, and observe how relationships influence language use and own identity

[Key concepts: self, family, home, routines; Key processes: observing, comparing] (ACLCHC009 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • examining the meanings behind Chinese family names and other related vocabulary
  • having a shared meal of 饺子,春卷 etc. and appreciating cultural diversity in the school community
  • responding to questions by sharing with students in Chinese sister school personal information related to identity, for example, name, family name, zodiac sign, family members
  • comparing learning in English with learning in Chinese, for example, learning about syllables and components
  • presenting a collage or poster which represents aspects of their identity, using text and images
  • observing interactions to notice cultural aspects such as use of voice to show courtesy, how disagreement is expressed, or smiling so as not to offend while saying ‘too expensive’
  • expressing personal responses to aspects of culture encountered when viewing images, such as of classrooms, home environments or street scenes in diverse contexts, responding to teacher prompts (for example, What do you see …? What do you notice …? How do you celebrate …?), and relating to own experience

Systems of language

Reproduce the four tones and recognise how they can change the meaning of words (ACLCHU010 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • noticing the tonal nature of spoken Chinese and using gestures to enhance the differentiation of tones
  • applying tones to diverse sounds in Chinese to express different meanings, and recognising differences between words with different tones, for example, and
  • practising the pronunciation of syllables that are unique to Chinese, such as , xià
  • working with classmates and teachers to identify initials (b, p, m, d, t, g, k etc.) that are similar to English consonants (f, l, n, v)
Recognise Chinese characters as a form of writing and Pinyin as the spelled-out sounds of spoken Chinese (ACLCHU011 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • differentiating Chinese characters from other forms of written expression, for example, the Roman alphabet, visual images (drawing)
  • recognising that each character has meaning, and exploring the connection between meaning and form, for example, pictographs such as (‘person’), (‘sun’)
  • examining which initials and finals can be guessed from English, for example, ‘mama’ as opposed to ‘gege
  • copying or tracing characters with attention to stroke order and direction
  • identifying syllables that make up Chinese words, such as 小/老/鼠 (xiǎo/lǎo/shǔ), and understanding that words such as 熊猫 (xióng māo) have two syllables, with each syllable having a meaning
  • making connections between words sharing a common syllable/morpheme, for example, 小狗、小猫、小朋友
  • building new words by combining familiar meanings such as 红+苹果
Understand that Chinese sentences have a particular word order (ACLCHU012 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • replacing words in modelled sentences to express a personal meaning, for example, replacing 弟弟 in 我有弟弟 with 妹妹 to say 我有妹妹
  • stating the subject of a sentence, for example, 我爱妈妈 is about ‘I’, and 妈妈爱我 is about ‘Mum’
  • recognising that simple statements in Chinese tend to follow English word order, but that questions do not, for example, ‘Do you have a cat?’ versus 你有猫吗?
  • recognising that sometimes the verb ‘to be’ is left out in Chinese sentences, for example, 我五岁 rather than 我是五岁
Engage with familiar text types to predict meaning (ACLCHU013 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • viewing samples of children’s books, and identifying headings and images, appreciating their role in supporting understanding of texts
  • comparing similar texts in Chinese and English (for example, a poster for a movie, such as 《功夫熊猫》) and identifying major elements of the Chinese text

Language variation and change

Recognise that Chinese is a major community language in Australia (ACLCHU014 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • exploring the range of languages spoken in Australia and identifying people in the local community or in the media who speak a different language, for example, ‘My mum’s friend is from China, and she speaks Chinese’
  • discussing why there are different languages spoken by Australian families and by classmates
  • knowing that Chinese is spoken not only in China but also in other areas of the world, including Australia
Identify the features of formal language used in familiar contexts, such as at school (ACLCHU015 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • using titles to address teachers in Chinese, such as 王老师 instead of Ms Wang
  • responding to expressions commonly encountered in Chinese classrooms, such as 起立 and explore the cultural meanings behind these

The role of language and culture

Describe how people use different languages to communicate and participate in cultural experiences (ACLCHU016 - Scootle )
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • identifying interesting facts, for example, finding out what are the biggest celebrations in China and Australia, and comparing these celebrations
  • engaging with the traditions and customs, festivals, celebrations and food of Chinese communities, recognising the value of learning about another culture in learning a new language
  • participating in a shared meal, a New Year celebration or a Chinese performance, commenting on the experience and listening to the sounds of Chinese
  • comparing gestures and body language associated with language use in different cultures, for example hand gesturing for emphasis and encouragement or recognising taboos within Chinese communication, such as pointing directly at someone

Foundation to Year 2 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 2, students use spoken and written Chinese to communicate with teachers and peers. They participate in structured and routine interactions, such as using 谢谢, 再见, 请, using learnt sounds, formulaic phrases, and verbal and non-verbal responses. They respond to and receive information, for example, 你好, 你好吗? They follow simple instructions, including 排队, 请坐, 不要说话.. They use the four tones of Chinese but not always with accuracy. Students respond to short predictable imaginative and informative texts, expressing simple likes and dislikes (喜欢, 不喜欢). They can match characters to the meanings and sounds of familiar words, including numbers (八…), colours (红…) and family members (爸爸, 妈妈). Students use strategies such as imitation and basic contextual cues for comprehension. They create simple informative and imaginative texts by selecting and practising learnt characters and familiar words and phrases to describe, list, label and caption.

Students recognise that Chinese is a major language in Australia. They identify its distinctive systems of writing and speaking. They recognise the tonal nature of Chinese and know that characters are formed by strokes. Students differentiate between the Pinyin and characters associated with familiar objects in their immediate environment. They recognise the use of tone marks in Pinyin. They are aware of the word order of simple sentences. They recognise the conventions for using Chinese to communicate with family, friends and teachers. They recognise the similarities and differences between Chinese and Australian contexts, language and culture. They can identify themselves as learners of languages.

Foundation to Year 2 Work Sample Portfolios