Years 5 and 6 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level students are expanding their social networks, experiences and communication repertoire in both their first language and Chinese. They continue to need guidance and participate in structured, collaborative tasks that both recycle and extend language. Students are gaining greater independence and becoming more conscious of their peers and social context. They are gaining awareness of the world around them. Learners are noticing similarities and differences between Chinese language and culture and their own.
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. With teacher support, students begin to use Chinese to communicate their own ideas and participate in collaborative decision making. Learners engage in exploration of patterns and features of the language, talking about and making connections between known languages and cultures and comparing different ways of communicating in familiar contexts.
Contexts of interaction
Likely contexts for interaction are related to students’ personal, family and local environments, and their everyday educational experiences. They communicate with peers, teachers, known adults, and with other students in their class. The settings for interaction move to a more public context and include more participants. Students begin to move from socialising in the here and now to planning and organising future events.
Texts and resources
Text types include print and online news and media, blogs, advertisements, catalogues, popular music and drama. Texts presented in characters are generally glossed in Pinyin. Students write in characters to correspond with others in letters, and use Pinyin input systems to generate a variety of texts in digital format.
Features of Chinese language use
Engagement with oral language includes active listening; observing interactions between speakers in everyday contexts; and using the spoken language in songs, rhymes, stories read aloud, and games. Learners ask and answer questions, describe people and objects, and recount events. They speak with attention to the sounds and tones of words, using formulaic language and applying their knowledge of familiar language structures in new contexts. Students map character forms onto their familiar oral vocabulary, and recognise and name characters in context. They record and learn new vocabulary by using word lists in Pinyin, and use Pinyin to prepare drafts of spoken texts.
Level of support
Chinese language use continues to be scaffolded and prompted by the teacher. Teachers’ modelling of correct Chinese language use is the primary source of learners’ increasing Chinese oral and written language acquisition.
The role of English
The use of English is necessary for discussion, reflection and explanation, and for the continued development of learners’ knowledge base and intercultural capability.