Pupils’ lessons go on dis­play

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

Cal­lig­ra­phy, a tea cer­e­mony, tai chi, tra­di­tional drum­ming and danc­ing are just a few of the ac­tiv­i­ties on dis­play at Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute Day this Satur­day.

The free event, put on by the non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, showcases Chi­nese cul­ture and lan­guage with per­for­mances and work­shops.

Par­nell Dis­trict School is one of the schools in­volved. Man­darin teacher Stephanie Lin has pre­pared stu­dents for the event for six months.

Stu­dents will be per­form­ing a play as well as tra­di­tional Chi­nese drum­ming and some dance items. The school has also been in­volved in the Chi­nese Lan­tern Fes­ti­val for many years.

Lin was born in Tai­wan and came to New Zealand when she was 13.

She is one of two Man­darin teach­ers at Par­nell Dis­trict School and also takes her own class of year 3 and 4 stu­dents. Man­darin isn’t an op­tional sub­ject but one that all year 4 to 8 stu­dents study.

This came about 12 years ago when for­mer prin­ci­pal Gary Pearce de­cided it would be the most use­ful lan­guage for stu­dents to learn.

Lin agrees learn­ing Man­darin is ben­e­fi­cial.

‘‘Study­ing another lan­guage helps you un­der­stand your own mother tongue and iden­tity,’’ she says.

Real world ap­pli­ca­tion helps re­in­force what the stu­dents learn. Lin of­ten has chil­dren tell her they prac­tise speak­ing Man­darin in Chi­nese restau­rants or when they travel to China for hol­i­days.

Prin­ci­pal Gary Cain agrees un­der­stand­ing the lan­guage is likely to come in handy.

‘‘Many fam­i­lies in the area have in­ter­na­tional con­tacts and a lot of our chil­dren will work in China or have con­tact with Chi­nese peo­ple in the fu­ture.’’

Go to auck­land­c­ity har­bournews.co.nz to watch a video on the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute.

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