Chinese: Background Language 7-10


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Chinese: Background Language 7-10

7-8 Syllabus

Years 7 and 8 Band Description

The nature of the learners

Students understand the ways in which they use more than one language in their daily lives. They understand the differences between the Chinese and English oral and written language systems and begin to extend their knowledge of language structures and texts.

Chinese language learning and use

Students are immersed in Chinese and begin to explore social issues, including environmental sustainability and family structure. Students explore the world of Chinese language with a focus on extending their contexts and purposes of use and refining their skills in using language that is appropriate to purpose and audience.

Contexts of interaction

Students interact using Chinese in the classroom and wider school environment, and with family and the local community, exploring the place of Chinese-speaking communities and the relevance of the experiences of past communities to the modern world.

Texts and resources

Students engage with language through visual media, poetry, drama, music, TV series and documentaries. They correspond with others by text message and email and through class-based social networking sites.

Features of Chinese language use

Written language use includes learning to read extracts from both Chinese and English literature to compare features of individual works. Students read nonfiction texts that are often glossed in Pinyin or supported with vocabulary lists. They learn to analyse new characters encountered in texts with a focus on mapping these character forms to their known spoken language. Oral language use includes participating in discussions and presentations on topics of interest and on life experiences in different contexts and cultures. Students participate in activities that focus on pronunciation, tone and rhythm, and learn to appreciate how their own language use compares to modern standard forms.

Level of support

Correct Chinese language use is modelled by the teacher to support students’ Chinese oracy and literacy development. Vocabulary lists and model texts support literacy development.

The role of English

Classroom interaction is predominantly conducted in Chinese, with English being used to compare languages and explore complex ideas related to language, culture, learning and concepts from other learning areas.



Interact with peers and familiar adults, exchanging opinions and feelings and establishing friendships

[Key concepts: context, choice; Key processes: responding, transacting, exchanging]

Participate in planning individual and group action to contribute to school and local community, making choices from available options

[Key concepts: leisure, education, relationships; Key processes: transacting, exchanging]


Locate and organise key points of information from a range of familiar sources

[Key concept: information; Key processes: collating, analysing]

Represent factual information related to other learning areas and on topics of interest in a range of texts and formats for different audiences

[Key concepts: information, data, significance, legacy; Key processes: locating, analysing]


Interact with and express opinions on a range of imaginative texts

[Key concepts: imagination, attitude, beliefs; Key processes: analysing, creating

Adapt events and characters from popular Chinese narratives for particular audiences and to create specific effects

[Key concepts: sequence, story; Key processes: adapting, creating]


Translate short texts and identify words and phrases in Chinese that do not readily translate into English

[Key concept: equivalence; Key processes: comparing, translating]

Create simple bilingual texts for different audiences, considering the influence of different roles, relationships, settings and situations

[Key concepts: audience, context, bilingualism; Key processes: translating, interpreting]


Reflect on personal responses and reactions during interactions in Chinese such as talking with a Chinese adult or interacting online with Chinese peers

[Key concepts: reflection, place; Key processes: reflecting, observing, noticing]


Systems of language

Explain the phonological and tonal features of Chinese, including variations in tone, stress and phrasing in diverse settings

Identify features of individual characters and the form and function of components in individual characters and in related characters (for example, 心,想,情,闷), and learn to relate components (部件) and sides (偏旁) to the meaning and sound of characters

Explore features of the Chinese grammatical system

Identify how information and ideas are organised in a range of genres, and compare the textual features of narratives in Chinese and English to determine features which are distinctive to Chinese

Language variation and change

Differentiate features and apply rules for expressing meanings in spoken and written modes in different contexts

Explore the role of language in passing on cultural values and beliefs to younger generations and identify changes in language use over time

Role of language and culture

Discuss ways in which language choices indicate aspects of social position (such as class, gender and ethnicity) and inhibit or encourage others’ involvement or sense of belonging

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 8, students use spoken and written Chinese to sustain interactions in their personal and social worlds (for example, 你叫什么名字?你多大了?你住在哪个城市?,不对,我是说… and 老师,我可以用电脑吗?), making appropriate language choices for different roles, relationships and situations, for example, 你的那个,那个 assignment 做完了吗? They access and analyse information (for example, 排版结构,表格,图标)from a range of sources which include familiar characters and use this information for a range of purposes. Students interpret, translate and create a range of spoken, written and multimodal Chinese texts for imaginative, informative and persuasive purposes and for different audiences. Sentences generally contain two or more ideas connected by cohesive devices (for example, 如果…就…), and use a range of time phrases (for example, 然后;就)to sequence events and ideas. Students make comparisons (比;跟…一), and provide reasons to explain their opinions or actions, using conjunctions (因为、所以、因此).

Students explain the diversity in speaking and writing systems across languages, including regional variations within Chinese, and how these differences impact on their own understanding and communicative practices. They identify familiar characters in their simplified and traditional forms, and explain the differences between standard Chinese and dialects that may be spoken in their family. Their written literacy is still developing and they produce longer and more complex texts through the use of digital resources than in handwriting. They describe how the distinctive features of Chinese grammar and texts can be used to achieve particular effects and purposes. They explain how ideas are mediated across languages and cultures in their local communities. They express their own understandings of the Chinese cultural values that influence their own communicative practices.

9-10 Syllabus

Years 9 and 10 Band Description

The nature of the learners

Students extend their knowledge of language structures and text organisation through reading and viewing authentic material and discussing how to apply new learning to their own communication. They explore the nature of their dual identities and bilingual capabilities.

Chinese language learning and use

Students are immersed in Chinese language, exploring issues related to youth culture and topics of educational and social relevance. They begin to make connections and comparisons with the experiences of other young Chinese speakers and with those of other cultural groups in Australia. They also consider their own place in Australia and the nature of the relationship between Australia and the Chinese-speaking world.

Contexts of interaction

Contexts for interaction extend beyond the school and home environments to include increased engagement with students’ local communities, in particular with older generations.

Texts and resources

Students engage with a variety of texts, including dictionaries and online translation tools, local print and digital media, and abridged bilingual versions of classic and contemporary literature and their film and TV adaptations.

Features of Chinese language use

Students participate in discussions, debates and presentations on local and global issues and initiate inquiry into topics of interest. They extend their writing skills to include more informative and objective language and write in more formal genres, such as articles and reports. They develop their skills in analysing characters and recognising word and clause boundaries in extended text. Students explore the influence of English on their own communication in Chinese, both in pronunciation and in linguistic structures, and the role of code-switching in their daily language use. They share ideas about how they can contribute to Australian society through maintaining their bilingualism and through establishing a more stable identity where they are interculturally and intraculturally aware.

Level of support

Correct Chinese language use continues to be modelled by the teacher to support students’ Chinese oracy and literacy development. Glossaries, vocabulary lists, dictionaries and online translation tools are used to support comprehension.

The r ole of English

Classroom interaction occurs in Chinese. English is used when required for comparison or to explore complex ideas related to language, culture and concepts from other learning areas.



Interact with peers and others in familiar and unfamiliar contexts to exchange alternative ideas and perspectives, and to express preferences and opinions

[Key concepts: ritual, relationships, generations, values, identity, ancestry; Key processes: negotiating, participating]

Participate in planning and presenting a social or cultural event, negotiating options and solving problems

[Key concepts: community, emotion, multiplicity, power Key concepts: participating, negotiating]


Summarise and compare factual information about people, places and lifestyles drawn from a range of sources, including multimodal sources

[Key concepts: information, values, judgment, bias; Key processes: selecting, comparing]

Develop and present a position on an issue based on information drawn from different perspectives and sources and provide advice and guidance

[Key concepts: information, advice, media,; Key processes: classifying, evaluating, advising, guiding]


Explore and express opinions on themes and emotions revealed in modified texts from classical and contemporary Chinese literature

[Key concepts: classical, contemporary, literature; Key processes: evaluating, expressing]

Create narratives to describe experiences involving imagined people and places

[Key concepts: fact and fiction, challenge, morality, human experience; Key processes: adapting, creating, imagining]


Translate a range of simple Chinese texts and identify how some concepts can be mediated readily between Chinese and English and some cannot

[Key concept: equivalence; Key processes: comparing, translating, explaining]

Create texts in Chinese and English, explaining the linguistic and cultural challenges of achieving equivalence of meaning

[Key concepts: audience, context, social distance, bilingualism; Key processes: identifying, translating, interpreting]


Reflect on how conventions of speech and particular Chinese cultural concepts can influence communication style when using both English and Chinese

[Key concepts: face, public, private; Key processes: adjusting, analysing]


Systems of language

Compare features of speech of speakers from diverse regions to standard Chinese including pronunciation and prosody (for example, intonation and stress)

Explore and apply the principles of character form and function, including knowledge of semantic and phonetic radicals, to predict associate sound and meaning of new characters encountered in texts

Organise and express complex ideas in Chinese, for example, analysing and comparing active and passive sentence constructions

Analyse textual features of formal genres and apply these in their own speech and writing

Language variation and change

Recognise how gender, social class and age impact on language use in formal and informal context

Explore the significance of tradition in 名人名言 and 经典 and examine contemporary influences on language use

Role of language and culture

Explain how languages shape the communicative practices of individuals and groups and identify ways to enhance understanding across cultures

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 10, students use spoken and written Chinese to initiate and sustain extended interactions with others in their social world and in the Chinese-speaking community, for example,我的学校生活,澳大利亚的运动,我最喜欢的春节活动. They ask questions (for example, 你真的认为…吗?请想一想…) and adapt language use for a range of contexts and roles. They identify and evaluate key points of information from different spoken, written and multimodal authentic sources and use this information to develop a position and to inform and convince others. They move between Chinese and English to create simple bilingual texts. Students interpret, interact with and create a range of texts for imaginative, informative and persuasive purposes and for different audiences. Sentences include a range of structures, including formal expressions to connect ideas, for example, 除此之外, 尽管这样, 因此,无论…都… They also use relative and attributive clauses, conditionality and indefinite pronouns. Students compare information and ideas, and explain or justify opinions, for example, 有人说… 还有人认为… 所以…而且… 因此… They apply knowledge of metaphor and 成语 in their own writing.

Students map characters against familiar sounds and apply their knowledge of character form and function to predict the meaning and sound of unfamiliar characters. They independently use digital resources to communicate with others, and utilise online and print dictionaries to assist in reading Chinese texts. They explain how the purpose and use of stylistic devices, textual features and language features change across contexts, genres and traditions. Students explain the cultural assumptions that influence participants’ responses and identify ways in which understanding could be enhanced in communication. They reflect on the roles both Chinese and Australian cultures play in their own communicative practices and use these reflections to improve their Chinese language use.

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