[Music] 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 and excahnge 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. [Children sing] 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. [Music plays] 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 recieved 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. [Music] Teacher:C A G E B C 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. [Music fades]