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Chinese for Primary School

Chinese is one of the main languages in the world, and is quite different from European languages in that it has tonal differentiation and unique written system. As South Africa comes into more contact with China, students are more and more interested in learning the Chinese language. The courses are designed for children aged from 6-12 at primary schools. It focuses mainly on listening and speaking, with introduction to the phonetics system (pinyin) and the written form (simplified characters) of Chinese. Chinese words and simple, short sentences are presented first in the oral form, with nurseries and songs, plus classroom games and activities. Students will also learn about Chinese culture and compare their school life with those in China nowadays. The Confucius Institute at UCT will send a teacher to teach the students at the school. Schools that are intended to introduce Chinese to their school are welcome to contact us at: Prof. Shengyong Qin, Chinese director, Confucius Institute at UCT, 3.02 Masingene Building, Middle Campus; Tel: 021 650 5955; Cell: 0719187026; Email: shengyong.qin@uct.ac.za. Students will be grouped into two classes: those in Grades 1 & 2 are in Class A; while those in Grades 3, 4 and 5 are in Class B. Both classes will begin the first year study in 2014, and move on to the second and third year later. Class A: (year 1) Students will learn about 150 commonly used Chinese characters and words formed with these characters, be able to pronounce them correctly and understand their meanings. They will learn the initials and finals in the pinyin system, the spelling rules and the tones, understand simple dialogues and be able to say a few words with the right tones and intonations. Class B (year 1) For Grades 3-5 students, the purpose of this course is to lay a good foundation for learning Chinese and to prepare them for high school studies of Chinese. They may also be expected to write the Cambridge Chinese Test at the end of the third year. Students are required to 1. learn about 180 characters; 2. be able to pronounce them with correct tones, and recognize the pinyin, 3. learn the basic strokes in writing Chinese characters, and 4. demonstrate the ability to communicate verbally in Chinese in daily situations.