It is predicted that children born today will leave school to see China as the largest economy in the world. In his trade mission to China in December 2013, the Prime Minister David Cameron recognises China’s continued growth as immense opportunities for Britain in terms of jobs and investment, and has promised to increase funding to give UK students the language skills needed to be part of that growth. To quote Mr Cameron: “I want Britain linked up to the world’s fast growing economies. And that includes our young people learning the languages to seal tomorrow’s business deals.”
CLSG has also recognised the importance of providing Chinese teaching to its students and is one of the early pioneers of the subject in the UK. To date, CLSG offers Chinese to its students from Years 7 to 11, and will expand this to Years 12 and 13 in the next academic year in 2014.
The Chinese department approaches the subject in a holistic manner, viewing the language teaching as only one part of the learning, the other parts to give students the opportunity to look beyond Chinese stereotypes and utilise the understanding of Chinese culture, social norms and ways of seeing life. It is also the aim of the Chinese Department to make Chinese learning enjoyable and more accessible to more students at CLSG. It lays the foundation of learning esteems and learning motivation, take a keen longer-term interest in China when they leave CLSG and create a greater appreciation of China and its culture among the wider school community, and become a life long skill that could be benefited from in later career and life.
WHY IS CHINESE EXCITING AT CLSG?
Now the world's second biggest economy, China has become a leading international player on the world stage. Chinese is the official language in China, a country with a population of around 1.3 billion. But Chinese is spoken and understood by millions more in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chinese communities overseas, not to mention the increasing use of the language in international businesses.
Learning Chinese gives students an insight into a vastly different language, thinking and culture. For many students, it provides an opportunity to stretch themselves linguistically in a completely new way. Learning Chinese combines intellectual rigour and discipline with a strong artistic appreciation of the written script and requires keen listening skills to distinguish and replicate the differently pitched tones in spoken Chinese. Students receive a real sense of achievement when they are able to read and write characters and communicate in Chinese.
YEARS 7 - 9
Students can choose to study Chinese as one of their two language choices in Year 7 to 9. Students begin to read and write Chinese characters from the outset and have access to on-line language learning tools to supplement classroom teaching activities in school. As well as developing Chinese language skills, students in all year groups also learn about China more widely through a variety of media, group work and presentations.
YEARS 10 and 11
Students can choose to continue with the language to GCSE level. The course continues to focus on all four skills areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening) covering the GCSE topics and themes such as Media and Culture, Sport and Leisure, Travel and Tourism, Business, Work and Employment.
GCSE - Edexcel. Speaking and writing assessments account for 60% of the total mark and are carried out through controlled assessment. Listening and reading account for 40%. Themes for speaking and writing are: Media and Culture, Sport and Leisure, Travel and Tourism, Business, Work and Employment. Areas for listening and reading include: Out and about, Customer Service and Transactions, Personal Information, Future Plans, and Education and Work.
RECENT TRIPS/LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Chinese New Year celebrations, the Chinese Dance Sessions, Chinese departmental assemblies and our link with schools in Beijing all help to ensure that Chinese language and culture permeate numerous facets of school life.
iPad and ICT sessions provide practising skills by using the latest technology.
Year 11 and Year 12 General Studies British Museum and London Chinatown trip
Annual Year 10 Beijing Trip provides invaluable experience with a meaningful context in which pupils relate what they learnt and heard in the West with the real life scenarios.
Beijing Trip, February 2013
Head of Department
Ms V Zhang