Celebrating Chinese Language Week with Young Children

New Zealand Chinese Language Week was being held in 2020 between 20 and 26 September. Here are some learning experiences that we engaged with our children in the celebration of Chinese Language Week.

Learning simple Mandarin phrases

Mandarin is the official language in China and also the most widely-spoken language in the world. Our tamariki in the preschool room are keen to learn some simple phrases that could be used in the daily conversations. These phrases are 你好 Nihao – Hello,  再见 Zaijian – Goodbye, 谢谢 Xiexie – Thanks, 不客气 Bukeqi – You are welcomed.

Experiencing paper cutting

Chinese paper-cutting, or jianzhi (剪纸), is a folk art that originated in China around the sixth century AD. Our tamariki love being able to fold the papers and then cut out any shapes they like. When they open up the papers, they become beautiful paper cutting artworks that could be used to decorate the windows. Kaiako are blown away by tamariki’s creativity.

Drawing Chinese zodiac animals

The Chinese zodiac, known as shengxiao (生肖), features 12 animal signs in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The characteristics of the animals are said to influence the personalities and behaviour of the people born in the year that animal represents. Our tamariki learn about their zodiac animals which are Monkey(born in 2016) and Goat (born in 2015). They enjoyed drawing their zodiac animals and reading the  animals’ personalities.

What learning is happening here?

Our tamariki are fully engaged with the celebration of Chinese Language Week. It is a great opportunity for them to experience Chinese language, believe and cultural practices. It helps our tamariki to develop an understanding of cultural diversity and the appreciation for differences.