Mandarin is taught to all students at MIC, starting with the Early Years program.

Students start to develop intercultural understanding and awareness of otherness in the wider community while establishing an understanding of a second language.

Students recognise that letters in Pinyin and English produce different sounds using different spelling conventions.

Early Years
Mandarin is taught to students from 3 years of age with the study focus on topics such as self, home, family and daily routines.

Primary College
In primary, students mainly focus on the communicative and cultural aspects of Mandarin with listening and speaking the primary focus. Through the use of gestures and singing, students are encouraged to comprehend and express themselves using the target language as much as possible. Some basic Pinyin and characters are also introduced using hands-on activities and songs. Intercultural understanding is explored through festivals, celebrations, stories, food and music.

Secondary College
In Adolescence (Years 7-9), the Pinyin system and character structures are formally introduced. Through learning different topics, such as families, hobbies, countries, animals and school life, students continue to understand the essential language features of Mandarin. Together, they will develop a deep understanding of how culture is reflected in, and constructed by, language thus they will become more competent in using Mandarin in and out of the classroom. They will also appreciate the complexities of cultures, particularly in relation to the less visible dimensions and the dynamic and flexible nature of a culture.

In Year 10 LOTE (Languages Other Than English) we mirror the language development program to explore different topics. Students are guided to choose the language and culture they are interested in and use a self-directed learning approach to further explore the target language and culture. Through the study of LOTE, students use their existing understanding of language and culture to further develop their language proficiency and intercultural competence to enable them to appropriately communicate in intercultural situations. Together, students will develop a deep understanding of how culture is reflected in, and constructed by, language and thus become more competent in using the target language.

In Years 11 and 12, students continue to use a self-directed learning approach to further explore various topics as part of their Language Development studies which is part of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Program. Students start to make connections between language development and career development pathways. During these two years, students focus on social etiquette in different cultures and how values and attitudes in different cultures influence the use of language. Students will explore their self-identity through cultural comparison and make sense of how intercultural understanding guides their choices and language learning.

Students will also explore a wider range of text types in the target language, and develop proficiency and increasing confidence in using them. They continue to develop capacities to meet communicative needs and resolve linguistic and intercultural challenges with increasing knowledge of purpose and audience, in both formal and informal situations.

Mandarin is taught by our Mandarin Specialists – Wenting (Wendy) Ouyang in the Early Years and Millie Teeter from Primary College through to Senior Phase.

LIMITED spaces are still available for your 3-year-old to join our Early Learning Community in 2025!