Years 3 and 4 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level children are developing awareness of their social world and memberships of various groups, including of the Chinese class. They benefit from varied, activity-based learning which builds on their interests and capabilities and makes connections with other areas of learning.
Chinese language learning and use
The systems of writing and speaking in Chinese are distinct. Because of the role of character learning and its impact on reading and writing, learners can accomplish a higher active use of spoken language than written language. As a result, engagement with Chinese language is primarily through speaking and listening. Learners practise using Chinese through participating in action-related talk, and completing tasks while relying on teacher modelling, prompts and repetition. Students respond non-verbally to spoken Chinese in the classroom, and their understanding of Chinese is dependent on context, and on teacher intonation, gestures and facial expressions. They repeat speech and sounds from frequent and consistent teacher modelling and produce texts using familiar words or phrases.
Contexts of interaction
Likely contexts of interaction focus on everyday educational experiences and students’ personal, family and social environments. These familiar contexts are represented in the classroom in structured and scaffolded situations.
Texts and resources
Key text types and contexts include short predictable texts, photo biographies, correspondence, and structured and scaffolded situations. Students engage with a variety of Chinese language texts, including short audiovisual texts, plays, fables, rhymes, songs and dance, extending their use and comprehension of Chinese language and culture. Students also produce simple oral and written texts. They are exposed to a wide range of Chinese voices and settings through the use of multimedia texts, simulations and performances.
Features of Chinese language use
Students discover the distinctive features of the spoken language and begin to use Pinyin and tone marks to practise syllables and tones they encounter in new words. They recognise that letters in Pinyin and English produce different sounds using different spelling conventions. Printed texts used in the classroom are mainly presented in Pinyin but may be glossed with characters. Students use Pinyin to write, knowing that characters represent the real form of writing in Chinese. They use a variety of communication modes, including oral communication in English and Chinese as well as mime and gesture.
Level of support
Chinese language use is scaffolded and prompted by the teacher, and teacher modelling of correct language use is the main source of oral and written language acquisition.
The role of English
English is used where it supports comprehension of and participation in Chinese interactions, and when discussing issues of comparison and contrast between languages and cultures.