Tapping students into Chinese culture via video conferencing

Spring Hill Primary School teacher Kendal Dixon with her year 3 class and chinese teacher Zoe. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d493274
Spring Hill Primary School teacher Kendal Dixon with her year 3 class and chinese teacher Zoe. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d493274

TAPPING students are learning about Chinese language and culture live via video conferencing.

Spring Hill Primary School introduced a Chinese learning program for Year 3 and 4 students with My Education Group this year.

Principal Stephen Routledge said the school wanted students to embrace a language that could open opportunities for them in the future, which Chinese could provide.

“Technology has proven to be a massive engagement tool for the kids,” he said.

“Having teachers of Chinese, who are in Beijing and in real time, has had a marked impact on the relevance and authenticity of the learning.

“By learning a language and about a culture, we’re giving our students a global perspective.

“They learn by connecting with the real world and that’s happening in this program.”

My Education Group teaches more than 25,000 students Mandarin every week in Australia, US, UK and New Zealand, including more than 40 schools in WA.

Co-founder Tom Shugg said the group used technology to overcome the traditional hurdles of finding a traditional language teacher.

“With our teachers live from China, the students get to speak to a native Chinese speaker,” he said.

“What we love about our program is that any school can utilise the technology they already have, whether it be a laptop computer, interactive whiteboard or TV.

“The entire premise of our company is to provide exciting language opportunities for students irrespective of their location.

“At My Education Group, our goal is to turn young students into global citizens.”

Other primary schools doing the Chinese program include Anne Hamersley, Beechboro, East Butler, Gidgegannup, Honeywood, Lakelands, Lancelin, Middle Swan, Midvale, Mundijong, St Augustine’s, St Joseph’s, St Thomas’, South Coast Baptist College and West Byford.