Technology aids Chinese study

Chinese language and cultural awareness classes delivered using interactive technology have resulted in high levels of student engagement in the Northern Sydney region.

The recent trial involved the teacher of Mandarin delivering the program by videoconference and using Bridgit software to share and collaborate on interactive whiteboard content.

The trial was initiated, developed and is expanding in Northern Sydney Regional schools and aims to promote national proficiency targets in an Asian language for HSC graduates.

A taster course was being offered to other schools in the region this semester and it was expected the model would be expanded to allow Years 7 and 8 students to learn the required 100 hours of Mandarin via connected learning.

Global, community and sister-school partnerships

The trial was made possible by the Innovative Strategies for Asian Languages grants to regions funded under the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program.

Northern Sydney regional director, Jane Simmons said the region had enjoyed strong support from the department's Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre, particularly Dr Shi Shuangyuan, Julie Flynn and their teams, during the establishment phase of the program.

"Among other initiatives, our continuing partnership with Macquarie University will see Masters students from our partner regions in China completing studies in international relations at the university," Ms Simmons said.

"As part of their coursework, the students will undertake internships in schools in Northern Sydney region and will provide expert tuition alongside classroom teachers."

The region had, through memorandums of understanding (MOUs), established formal links with educational bureaus in China that would overlay and assist school-to-school links.

Ms Simmons said those links nurtured the establishment of community and sister-school partnerships as well as the establishment of Confucius Classrooms at Mosman High School and Chatswood Public School.

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