“Languages contribute materially to the universal purposes of schooling and to the development of skills in thinking and reflection. They support the moral, social and economic initiation of young people into the culture and wider civilisation that surrounds them. Learning a language nurtures reflective, deep and creative thinking in specific ways, cultivates culturally distinctive fields of knowledge, and stimulates awareness of intellectual functioning. In unique ways, languages require learners to engage in self-reflection because effective communication in a new language requires the learner to move outside the norms, practices and acquired behaviours of their first language.“ (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority)
At Ivanhoe East Primary School, our school vision is to provide a vibrant learning environment that nurtures partnerships and diversity with the support of an informed, connected and positive community. Our LOTE program provides Chinese-Mandarin which compliments the school’s vision of enabling students to be caring, open and curious 21-century learners.
The LOTE program endeavours to provide students not only with language skills, but also a cultural awareness of the Chinese speaking community and the metalinguistic skills-the knowledge of how to learn a language.
At IEPS, Mandarin is taught and practiced through a variety of activities in the classroom, including:
- Singing Songs
- Chants and dances
- Language games
- Research projects
- Class discussions
- Real-life language texts analysis
- Language competitions
- Making videos and ebooks with ICT tools
There are also whole school events and excursions that involve students learning the language in a broader, out-of-classroom context. ICT tools are also used in the LOTE class to engage students and reinforce their learning in a fun way. Students use iPads and computers to make videos and to practise their typing, speaking and listening skills and to engage in and communicate with the Chinese speaking community.