Mandarin Education in the ACT:Pathways to Proficiency10 August, 2013
Jane Orton, PhDDirectorChinese Teacher Training CentreThe University of Melbourne
National Provision Update - Since 2008
Chinese still smallest – max. 90,000 studentsGerman next smallest at about 127,000Japanese the largest at about 330,000+.More programs everywhere, especially in Primary and in the Catholic SectorReplacing German, even Japanese > tensionsPrograms same as ever > same old problems
Administrators not knowledgeable about language learning, or special needs of ChinesePrimary = 30minsa week = a waste of timeToo often just songs + noun clusters, e.g. animalsAll levels pedagogy still very limited – a quick rush to drill in the charactersAlmost all teaching is done in English> Kids don’t learn; get discouraged/bored> Give up as soon as they can = 95%
Heritage Speakers/Year 12
Heritage (home speaker) learners dominate the L2 scene at every level in most schoolsYear 12 ratio of Heritage : Classroom Learner (genuine L2) in Victoria and NSW of about 8 : 1.> WA barring Heritage students at Yr 12 > anger> Vic – offering bonus for ‘bilingualism’ if take higher level + considering dividing by number of hours of formal study – under discussion now.
New style primary programs: in WA, Vic, NSW– VERY few but VERY exciting as beingdone well =+ time +intensive/immersion/ bilingual programs(and still some old ones in Vic, NSW, SA andQld);– gesture-based (AIM) using drama, stories– CLIL, with content in science, SOSE, ICT– Ready for National Curriculum of min. 350 hrsNew bilingual high school in Melbourne in 2014.
The Language Learning Space – rich supply of well arranged, linked and indexed work on all and everything ChineseFor teachers and for studentsCOOL material![Otherwise, too many beginner resources = no Book 2; most pretty much same old same old in the way they treat language and content – low appeal and no intellectual development at all]
Advances 3– Professional Learning
Noticeable increase in numbers at CTTC PDsNoticeable interest from Ts in talking about teaching