Year 7

These Year 7 projects start at the lowest language level out of the project series.

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Learning Chinese through Technology

This project guides students through useful ways to look up words on the internet, a tablet or a smartphone. It guides them in how to input Chinese on a keyboard, introduces online dictionaries such as and smartphone apps such as Pleco. A variety of tasks and activities asks students to then use these skills to look up words, stroke order, sentence order, flashcards, as well as introducing some key vocabulary around technology.

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The Great Wall

This project builds student’s knowledge of Chinese geography and history, through looking at the Great Wall. They read articles and watch some Youtube clips, before answering a quiz and transferring the outline of the Great Wall onto a map of China. They contextualise Chinese history, by considering it alongside British historical events of the same time period. Language focus is on describing scenery.

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The First Emperor & the Terracotta Army

This project introduces students to the First Emperor and the history of the Terracotta Army, via (English) articles and a documentary. Students answer comprehension questions and think about their opinion, learn about Xi’an’s location, look up some characters around the topic and practising writing them. Students are introduced to the use of 的 in combination with adjectives.

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Ode to Chinese   

This singing project develops student’s confidence in speaking/ singing Chinese, and builds fluency through singing. Students engage with learning new vocabulary around the topics of singing and school subjects, and work towards a small amount of translation (the song). Some key vocabulary introduced is 为什么 / 因为/ 觉得/ 但是.

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The Land that is China 

This project develops understanding of the geography of China, looking at natural land formations and barriers (plateaus, rivers, mountains, deserts) and the neighbours surrounding China and then placing them on a map of China. Students investigate vocabulary around this topic, working out the characters and pinyin for the English words provided. Students learn the four directions, and how to combine them to say north-east etc. Students then investigate the province names of China, to work out which ones have names from nature (eg 山东). Finally, students face a stretching task of looking at the climate and weather, learning new vocabulary, looking at a Chinese weather site and copying out the weather details before translating (this task can be easily omitted and used at a later date if more appropriate).

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Chinese Diary: 1

This project aims to build student ability to provide spontaneous language, describing their daily life. By filling in diary entries on different topics, students will be stretched to explain their meaning, and start to explore how to find the language they need to explain themselves (you can refer them to the first ICT project). Five different topics are given to provide choice and guidance – daily routine, the weather, the school day, hobbies and sport, and music/ movies/ books. However, if the changing topic or daily entry requirement is considered too challenging, the teacher can divide this project up, or remove topics, to fit the appropriate challenge required for their students. The structures “…比/没有 …” are introduced, but students do not have to use them.

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The project introduces students to a popular culture aspect of China, the role of comics or 漫画。Students create their own cartoons either based on vocabulary based on language learnt in the classroom. A more challenging task asks students to develop more of a story (scenarios are given), and key vocabulary is provided. NB using the comic strip creation website links can be fiddly, so you may prefer to encourage students to hand draw (the focus is on the language creation more than beautiful art!). This is a project that is best marked by the teacher, and would work well as collaborative assignments in pairs.

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Lost Cowboy

This project develops fluency and confidence in speaking/ reading Chinese, through the medium of the Transition song “Lost Cowboy.” The song looks at the popular culture drinking of “bubble tea” (“bobo” or 珍珠奶茶). Students watch the video and read the lyrics (provided in English, pinyin and Chinese chracters) and then watch a video with Gao Laoshi explaining the text. After that they are challenged to practice singing the song, leading to singing without pinyin. They then practice some translation from English to Chinese, and Chinese to English, based on vocabulary in the song, and look up the other most popular types of tea in China.

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Martial Arts

Through videos and website links, students develop a knowledge of both martial arts in general, and the practice of Shaolin Kung Fu specifically. Students are challenged to read a short passage describing the life of a young boy who lives at Shaolin Temple and answer questions from the text. They then have to look up the different animal styles (in English and Chinese) for the Shaolin style, locate Shaolin on a map, give their thoughts about kung fu, then complete a gap fill with details about Bruce Lee and Michelle Yeoh. NB whilst we have stated very clearly on this project that students should NOT attempt any of the moves without being in a professional environment, it is advised that the teacher also highlights this when using this project.

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The People and Languages of China 

This project introduces some of the ethnic diversity in China to students, through a look at four different groups- the Miao, the Zhuang, The Uyghurs and the Hui. Students have to search on the internet to discover the ethnic groups of China, and then use language skills to describe where some of them live geographically (links to the project “The Land that is China”) before learning more about those four specific groups. They then listen to some of the different languages of China, and answer a general quiz about Mandarin language before writing about two languages spoken in China that they like. The structure 除了noun 1 , subject 还  verb + noun 2 is introduced, and students practice, before watching a video of Gao Laoshi talking about regional differences of language in China.

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Chinese Literature

Students begin to develop their translation and literary skills further in this project, through the structured language of poems and a short story. This is a vocabulary-dense topic, with a lot of new language introduced, so teachers might like to divide up (perhaps focus on the poems first, then the story at a later date), which highlights to students the difference between literal direct translation, and the need to interpret language to find a suitable English alternative.

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Daddy, Where are We Going?

This project introduces the popular TV show 《爸爸去哪儿?》. The level of listening in the programme is challenging, but tasks will guide students though manageable sections of the show. This project will develop listening skills and confidence in taking on authentic listening materials. Students will first look at descriptions of the show, before taking a look at where the show is set. Tasks also cover phrases used by guests on the show to facilitate student understanding.

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Shopping and Money

This project introduces students to the world of shopping in China, from the bustle of Wangfujing in Beijing, to online shopping with Taobao. Students are challenged by Chinese advertisements, have to navigate their way on the Beijing subway through guided activities, and explore how Chinese people shop online through videos and searching for products themselves on Taobao.

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