Transcript of NSW Department of Education and Communities Confucius Institute
The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities' Confucius Institute
is a unique collaboration between the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban)
and the Education Departments in New South Wales and Jiangsu Province.
The partnership between two Education Departments
is a first for Confucius Institutes around the world in promoting Chinese language and culture to school students.
The role of this Confucius Institute is to
deliver high level support for Chinese language and cultural education, to foster co-operation
0:47and exchange between the Department and China, and to encourage the establishment of partner
school relationships between schools in New South Wales and sister schools in Jiangsu.
Confucius classrooms have been established in seven government schools in New South Wales.
Professor Hung Tien Le from Jiangsu presented each school with a Confucius classroom plaque
at an official ceremony in November 2013. Confucius classrooms can be found at
Chatswood Public School, Kensington Public School, Coffs Harbour High School, Fort Street High School,
Kingsgrove North High School, Mosman High School and Rooty Hill High School.
Evelyn Man: The seventh Confucius High School was selected through an Expression of Interest.
These schools spread across the state of New South Wales so that they can support the local
schools in the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture.
Confucius classrooms enable the delivery of
exemplary teaching and learning programs for Chinese language and culture.
They provide professional learning opportunities for Chinese teachers and student teachers.
Jian Le: Our Confucius classroom aims to support the Chinese language and Chinese culture and
for all students. Last year all the students in our school came
to my classroom to learn Chinese culture and Chinese language at least twice a week.
Rosemary McDonald: Well, some of the strategies we use to focus the lessons on the child-centred
approach, so therefore to integrate activities about Chinese culture and language into the
activities that they are doing in the Confucius classroom.
Ya'nna Guo: Some of the decorations in this room actually are donated by Kensington Public School's parents.
Some of the paintings actually have been in the family for a number of years.
Rebecca Barker: The Confucius classroom started last June and we have a lovely Confucius teacher
- Qian Zhang - coming to our school as a volunteer teacher.
Qian Zhang: I teach these in Confucius classroom just like Mandarin - Chinese language - and
the Chinese history and the Chinese paper cutting and the Chinese calligraphy and the
Chinese music like Erhu. I also use some resources from Internet about
China, about Mandarin. Tim Dodds: When Qian - our Confucius classroom
teacher - arrived we introduced her to the community and to the teachers and to the children,
and instantly she became part of that community. Chatswood's probably about 80% Asian so there's
an inherent success rate going on there to have an actual Chinese teacher from Nanjing
working in an Australian school, so immediately she had a lot of friendships.
Qian: [instructing students] first we will use water...
Rosemary: Some of our achievements in the establishment of the Confucius classroom have
been to get the classroom up and running and to have that classroom integrated into the
school program and it has been very successful. The students have enjoyed coming in to the
Confucius classroom and our volunteer teacher Yian Le is a important component of our school.
Achievements that the Confucius classroom has made is in the establishment of links
with other schools and that will be beginning very soon so that Yian Le can offer lessons
via the video conferencing system with the Department, and give lessons to those children
who don't have the opportunity to learn Mandarin or to learn anything about the Chinese culture.
Tim : Some of the things we've managed to do really well would be to differentiate the
teaching of Mandarin in the classrooms. Our Confucius classroom teacher instructs
or assists children of very high order Mandarin skills, whereas some of the children are actually
Australian-born Chinese so their Mandarin isn't as proficient and then there's some
of the Aussie kids who would have no Mandarin. Now, in a normal classroom that's going to
be a big ask. So, one of our successes has been to differentiate
that learning so that native speakers can actually be extended and beginning speakers
can actually be taught.
Being part of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities
means this Confucius Institute has access to a wide range of quality
online resources that support schools in the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture.
These include resources produced by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities,
resources that are published locally and overseas,
and most importantly resources that have been sourced by Hanban and provided to many
New South Wales Government Schools. Hanban has recently donated a Chinese cultural
display unit to each Confucius classroom allowing students to be immersed in rich and engaging
multimedia experiences in Chinese culture.
Tim: One of the benefits would be that children leaving this school would have a - more of
a global knowledge and they realise that there are so many other cultures out there.
Rosemary: Well the main benefit that the Confucius classroom has brought to students at our school
is the fact that all the students in the school are learning about the Chinese language and
Chinese culture. We have received a lot of resources from Hanban
and they will be a wonderful asset to the school.
The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities' Confucius Institute provides
professional learning opportunities for teachers of Chinese, including support for the implementation
of New South Wales Chinese syllabuses. One program is the Hanban Teachers' Training
Program. Shuangyuan Shi: The Department has a long
history of co-operation and partnership with Hanban for further development of Chinese
language learning and cultural understanding. Hanban provided 56 scholarships for Principals,
Education Leaders and teachers in 2012, January. The program was organised through the
Zhongshan University of Guangzhou. It is a key university in China.
The feedback from the participants are very positive.
Professional Learning is also provided through the Volunteer Teachers Orientation Program.
Shuangyuan: As part of the MOU between the Department and Hanban seven volunteers from
China will be located at a school. Volunteer teachers have been required to attend
an orientation program. The program including the teaching methodology,
introduction of the Department, of course including child protection.
The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities' Confucius Institute also
organises annual Chinese Language Teachers' Conferences.
These state-wide conferences provide a unique Professional Learning opportunity for teachers
of Chinese in both Government and non-Government schools to learn about new technologies, resources
and developments in language teaching.
Rosemary: The future Professional Development
for Yian Le, a lot of it will be around the technology so that we can establish those
links with China via the video conferencing system and also establish the links with the
other schools. Qian: Here I learn different culture and I
learn different teaching style because in China I am also a teacher but here I just
learned from other teachers how they teach in Australia way.
Tim: We would want both our teachers to be using 21st Century technologies so our Confucius
classroom teacher has some of the latest technology from Hanban.
She's got iPads. Shortly we'll be delivering video conferencing to local schools so that
other schools can learn Mandarin without even leaving their classroom.
There are over 25,000 students studying Chinese in New South Wales.
This includes over 18,000 students from Kindergarten to Year 6; over 5,000 students in Years 7-10;
1,470 in Year 11 and 947 students in Year 12.
A large majority of senior students are Chinese background speakers.
1,887 students in New South Wales study Chinese in Confucius classrooms.
Tim: The Confucius classroom teacher has increased interest in the whole community.
We have a parent Chinese programs so some of our non-Chinese parents can learn Mandarin.
Some of the teachers are taking a greater interest in learning Mandarin and indeed some
of the teachers have and will visit China. Rosemary: There has been an increase in the
number of children studying the language and culture since the Confucius classroom was
established because before that time some students learned Mandarin but others learned
Greek, others learned a different language. So now all the children are exposed to Chinese
language and culture through the Confucius classroom.
Shuangyuan: We also want to organise education co-operation programs such as CESE School
Program, Study 2 Program, Teacher Training Program.
Rosemary: Future directions that we want the Confucius classroom to go in will be to allow
other students at other schools to learn about Chinese language and culture.
We also want to establish strong links with our sister school in Nanjing, and finally
we want to be able to get the community, our local community, involved to a high degree in what is happening in the Confucius classroom. Tim: I think the future will be more online learning where the Confucius teacher can use video conferencing to reach schools throughout Sydney and indeed throughout the state. I think we'll be going with this for a long time.
Jian: Our Confucius classroom is like a stage, yeah and the children play a very important role here and they can experience our Chinese culture and our Chinese language.