Why is there a need for a toolkit to help teach Mandarin in primary schools?

While there are a number of similar resources available for other languages, most often European languages such as French and Spanish, there is a lack of toolkit-style resources aimed specifically at supporting primary teachers of Mandarin Chinese. We want to provide teachers with a comprehensive set of materials and guides that will aid the teaching of the language at KS1 and KS2, not only for the immediate benefits but also with the long-term aim of encouraging fluency among non-native speakers.

As stated above, there are fewer resources available for Mandarin compared to other languages, and there are even fewer created for primary-aged children. We see this as a missed opportunity as we should encourage as many young children as possible to study a language; foreign language knowledge developed in KS1 and KS2 have a significant impact on the success and future development of language learning in KS3.

Aside from learning the language itself, teaching a foreign language such as Mandarin provides scope for pupils to gain intercultural knowledge about a region that may previously have been very unfamiliar.

As noted in the All Connect Transition Toolkit, this side of the subject will:
 offer new perspectives on one’s own culture and that of others
 compare and contrast home and target language cultures
 provide a richer context for language development
 make small changes that have a big impact
 celebrate diversity

To read the All Connect Transition Toolkit in full, click below: