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NEWSLETTER Vol-3 | 31 July 2013

Teaching Asian

Fourth German

International Lan-

Salamanca Scholar-


PASCH school in NZ

guages Week

ship Programme

Charlie Thompson shares her story on teaching Chinese at St Kentigern College.

Ashburton College has become the fourth German PASCH school in New Zealand

Celebrate International Languages Week with music.

14 NZ language teachers gained a scholarship in Spain

Gordon Gallup reflects on his TPDL experience

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PD for teachers

I am not a native speaker and so it is really important to ensure

Teaching Asian Languages

that the students are getting a variety of external input of the spoken language other than just me! Such as from DVDs, CDs

Have you see thought about different approaches


The complex sounds and form of writing (characters) also make

languages? If not, have a look here at

it fun to learn - the students seem to be able to latch on to the


tones and pronunciation far faster than adults do.





and using native Chinese speakers in the class.




Gazette where teachers share their experiences and practices.

Through teaching Chinese I am reconnecting with my own language learning journey - it is really exciting to be using and

We would also like to share a story

building on my own language skills! I think the fact that I am

with you.

not a native speaker of the language, gives me an insight into

Charlie Thompson is a trained primary school teacher with a high level of

Chinese. She is so enthusiastic and passionate that she recently began teaching Chinese in a secondary setting at St Kentigern College in Auckland. “I was really keen to share my language skills but I really didn’t know anything about teaching languages. I am fascinated

how to make the language more accessible for students. I can share my own experiences as a learner, I show them that it is okay to make mistakes (regularly!) and I hope that I am able to pass on my passion and knowledge about the country and China’s vast history and culture.” Have you had similar experiences teaching Asian languages? We would like to hear your story. Contact us at

to understand more about second language acquisition and think that the in-school support programme will be hugely beneficial to

my teaching practice.

In her TED talk, ShaoLan Hsueh walks us through one simple

Chinese is three and a half times more difficult to learn than any other language, there is so much for students to get their heads around (tones, pronunciation, characters, pinyin etc). However, it is a fascinating language and so rewarding to learn - the challenge is making it fun and accessible to students without letting it get overwhelming.

lesson on Chinese characters. Learn to read Chinese with ease here.

Head of Languages at Ashburton College, Ken Pow, said the official ceremony was a great success with students and teachers. The German Ambassador extended a warm welcome to Ashburton College and complimented college principal Grant McMillan and German teacher Ken Pow on their work and continued focus on excellence in the teaching and learning of the German language. This year, Germany and New Zealand are commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations and John Key highlighted

Ashburton College becomes German Partnerschule

Germany’s role as the leading economic “powerhouse” of Europe and the benefits this global

German Ambassador Dr. Anne-Marie Schleich and Prime Minister John Key signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Ashburton College inaugurating the school as the fourth German PASCH school in New Zealand. PASCH stands for “Schools: Partners for the Future” and comprises a network of 1,500 schools with German language programmes. The goal is to interest students in modern Germany and to create long-term relationships and networks between teaching staff and German society.

exchange programme will have for Ashburton College.

Are you and your school interested in providing German language programmes or would you like to increase your network to Germany? Then contact the German National Advisor, Heike Papenthin, at


(jìng)”, ”丑(chǒu)”, then students could do face or mask painting or play

International Languages Week is a time for celebration and a well established event in New Zealand’s schools. Music is a great way to engage students with another language. Here are some ideas and suggestions on how to use music for language teaching.

For an intermediate and advanced level, the language part could include

games, such as matching photos of opera roles to their Chinese names.

more complicated words, like “老生Lǎoshēng”, “小生xiǎoshēng”, “武生 wǔshēng”, “青衣qīngyī”, ”花旦huādàn”, ”lǎodàn老旦”, “dāomǎdàn刀马旦”, “shuǐxiù水袖”, ”shuǎi甩”, ”zhē 遮”, etc ; the hands-on activities could in-

clude imitating some basic but typical Beijing Opera performer’s actions, such as “shuǎi shuǐxiù 甩水袖” and “zhēliǎn遮脸”, which “Qīngyī青衣” uses to express her feelings. Other activities like on/off a horse, open/close a door, up/down stairs could also be fun.

Karaoke is a great tool to use in language classes. Students can watch the video clip and discuss the content, title and how the characters are Beijing Opera (Jīngjù) is one of the most classical styles of Chinese music. And a wide range of information about its role in Chinese culture and its historical importance as well as a description and photos of the performing roles (Shēng, Dàn, Jìng, Chǒu) are available on Wikipedia.

Your students are going to love the colourful costumes and the mime, dance and acrobatics involved can help students interpret the meaning of the words used in the vocal performance. For beginners, teachers could introduce the very basic information of Beijing Opera, including words like “京剧 (Jīngjù)”, ”北京(Beǐjīng)”, “戏剧 (xìjù)”, “脸谱(liǎnpǔ)”, ”女(nǚ)”, “男(nán)”, “生(shēng)”, ”旦(dàn)”, ”净

depicted. Or they can observe lyrics and choose words and phrases they recognise and guess the meaning of others. Karaoke can develop students’ listening skills and improve pronunciation as students sing along. The story line and general meaning of the clip can be discussed, by identifying clues given through pictures, sounds and words. A class discussion can help students pick parts of the clips that are relevant to their own lives and the people around them. Objectives of using Karaoke in French classes:  It places students in an active situation in front of images and sounds  The music and lyrics are kept in their original and authentic form

 The song can provide a resource for iCLT and language form.

 The intercultural value of songs is very high. They are authentic and

 The music exposes students to the musicality of the French language

can make people from other cultures think and compare with their

 Karaoke permits visual and oral input and encourages spontaneous

own life;

output simultaneously.

 Room should be left for students to give their own ideas and impres-

 Songs tell stories and allow students to express emotions in French

sions about what they heard and understood before a song is ana-

 Students learn to use their voice to express themselves in French


 A song encourages co-operative approaches to learning a language.

 For great examples of adequate music, lyrics and worksheets have a look at [1]

The other day, during a school visit, I came across the outstanding German writing skills of one particular student in Year 13. Noticing the amazing level on which she was able to express herself, I could not help but wonder if she had lived in Germany. Asking her, she said, “No, but I would like to,“ and went on to explain that she had become hooked on German because of the German boy group “Tokio Hotel“. The story of this girl shows what a powerful and sustainable tool music can be in arousing or increasing learners‘ interest and motivation. Why not give it a try, even though we, as teachers, know that it is impossible to meet every student´s taste. When using songs in the foreign language classroom teachers could consider:  Songs should not be chosen for idiomatic or grammatical ends alone but are a wonderful resource to appeal to the learners’ emotional side – songs are not an exercise tool;

As you know “Karaoke” is a Japanese word, which literally means empty (“kara”) and orchestra (“oke”) which is “empty track”. Karaoke video clips are a great classroom resource for Japanese learners, especially

for beginners of Hiragana scripts, as the lyrics are displayed in changing colour as the tune goes on.

Prior to the 18th century, the bandurria had with a round back, similar or related to the mandore. It had become a flat-backed instrument by the 18th century, with five double courses of strings, tuned in fourths.

The popular „new Japanese folk song “ 「翼をください」“ “tsubasa wo

The original bandurrias of the Medieval period had three strings. During

kudasai” was released in 1971 and almost every Japanese can sing it

the Renaissance they gained a fourth string. During the Baroque period

[2]. Nowadays Japanese pop music is named as “J-pop”, which often

the bandurria had 10 strings (5 pairs). The modern bandurria has 12

comes with pop dances, so students might enjoy to dance to the tunes.

strings (6 pairs).

One of the popular singers now is:

キャリーパミュパミュ “kyari pamyu pamyu” [3].

There are different variations of bandurrias: Philippine bandurria, used

in many Philippine folkloric songs, South American bandurrias, especially from Peru and Bolivia. In Portugal they have the Portuguese guitarra

Also popular are “ani-son”: songs for Japanese TV animations which nor-

which bears a close resemblance to the bandurria and for many people

mally are very upbeat. Tunes for Miyazaki Hayao’s film are also stu-

it is very hard to say which one is which.

dents’ favourite, such as “Gake no ueno Ponyo” [4]. For younger learners use「童謡」”douyou” songs such as “Inu no Omawarisan” [5]. You can look up the weekly top 10 Japanese songs on: [6]. Lyrics can be

found at [7]. And you can now also download some dictation worksheets for Japanese songs from the resource section of the Japanese Adviser‘s page [8].

La bandurria is still a very popular instrument, specially amongst tunas. A tuna is a group of university students in traditional dress, see picture below, who play guitar,

bandurria, lute and tambourine, and

sing serenades. The tradition originated in Spain and Portugal in the 13th century. Tunas are very popular in these two countries, as well as in many other Latin American coutries. To get more information about the different parts to be found in a bandurria, you can visit the following web page [9]. There are many great activities that could be done in Spanish class

I would like to introduce an instrument that was

since la tuna performances are always very colourful and the music they

born in Spain long ago and that is widely used by

play is very attractive. Students love watching tunas and learning their

the famous university tunas in Spain and South


America: la bandurria. The bandurria is a plectrum chordophone, similar to the cittern and the mandolin, primarily used in Spanish folk music. Its origin is not very clear, though there are several theories.

Scholarship Programme to Salamanca, Spain Fourteen New Zealand teachers of Spanish had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a pilot scholarship programme at the University of Salamanca in Spain. The programme was jointly developed by the University of Salamanca, the Ministry of Education of Spain and ILEP. Participants were divided according to their language proficiency level and attended 40 hours of Spanish Language and Culture classes. The group also participated in guided visits to historical parts of Salamanca and its University, and visited the towns of

“Learning occurs when given the opportunity to learn from mistakes in real contexts.”

Segovia, La Granja and Ciudad Rodrigo. Accommodation was

“Students who have less confidence with the language are much

provided in private homes, a true immersion experience for the

more likely to use the language when working in pairs or even small

teachers from New Zealand.

groups. I was in classes that were challenging for me. Every time

It was a very positive learning experience for all despite the

the lesson included student pair/group work, rather than being

diversity of the group. Even the participants with the lowest level

teacher –centred, my stress levels decreased and my participation

of Spanish frequently reported on how motivated they were to

levels increased both substantively.”

attempt new activities with their classes and how much more confident they had become to use more Spanish themselves in their classroom. The teachers said:

“Information gaps and outcomes are valuable. e.g. Giving directions to someone is much more motivating to a partner when the final

destination is a surprise, otherwise it becomes more of an exercise to practise the language simply for the sake of it.” “Excursions were useful in many ways. It is important to learn about what are important aspects of the culture of a country whose language you are learning and teaching and all the visits and excursions were greatly appreciated.”

Reflections on TPDL Gordon Gallop has been teaching French and Spanish at Baradene College for three years. This year he has added Samoan to his teaching and learning ‘repertoire’.

There is now

a class of 16 girls learning Samoan. In 2012 Gordon took part in the Ministry of Education funded Teacher Professional Development Languages programme. TPDL was a wake-up call for Gordon and made him change and improve his teaching practice dramatically. Firstly, TPDL made him increase TL (target language) use. Even though he knew about the importance of providing ‘comprehensible input +1’, once he started using only TL, he was surprised to see how

much his students understood. Gordon realised that he had had

Gordon found the pedagogy component of TPDL “a superb course” which made him motivated about planning in general, and specifically about planning tasks which are purposeful, meaningful and motivating for students.

a preconceived idea that the students would not be able to

Gordon also expressed strong appreciation of the In-School

understand and that he would have to revert to English. Gordon

Support component of TPDL. “It’s great because through the

had also thought that it would be very difficult for him to speak

observations you can see your own progress and that of your

only in TL, and on the first day he ended up with a headache.

students. The progress standards help you to focus on what to do

However now that he has strategies for how he can use TL all of

next and it’s exciting to see your students (even beginning

the time, he can do it easily.

learners) using multi-clause sentences and taking ownership of

In addition, Gordon was impressed by how much his students

their learning.”

‘picked up’ from so much exposure to the TL. Gordon found that

Finally Gordon found that he is focussing more on meaningful

his students were “much more engaged in using TL themselves

communication and that he draws students’ attention to

for meaningful communication than they have been in previous

grammatical points incidentally and as students need to know this

years, now that they are doing communicative tasks, and even

for communication. He has found this approach has motivated

though they might be making some mistakes, the quality and

his students to speak more.

quantity of their TL has improved”.

Coming Up ... 

ILEP Language Teacher Conference "Meeting the challenge: On-going professional development for languages teaching and learning in New Zealand" Get in quick and register here. ShortFilmFest 2013 If you’re learning German and want to use your language creatively, make a short film (3-5 minutes maximum) with a creative interpretation of the topic „Beziehungen“. Read more here.

Networking Meeting with German National Adviser Heike Papenthin 7 August, 14 August, 21 August, 28 August Pick one date, or come to all sessions. More info here.

Learn how to dance while you practice your Spanish! Workshops for teachers of Spanish on 7 and 13 August, 2013 taught by a Spanish professional dancer, organised by ILEP/Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Spain. More info here.

After school workshop: How to use Furoshiki! Learn how to use furoshiki for several items and will be able to demonstrate it to your students for International Language Week. More info here.

Date: Session 2 Thursday, 1 Aug 2013, Time: 16.30-17.30, Venue: ILEP meeting room E4 at Epsom, Gate 3, 74 Epsom Ave. (UOA Epsom Campus)

Chinese Calligraphy and Brush painting workshops in Auckland, on 15 and 22 August. More info here.

Student camp in Beijing, China – December 2013 The Office of Chinese Language Council-International (Hanban) is offering a great opportunity for New Zealand students of Chinese to attend a 14-day long camp in China in December 2013. For further information, please contact Yu Wang on 09 6238899 ext. 48613 or

Target language role in TCFL classroom Chinese Workshop on 14 September in Christchurch: reflecting learning experience and returning to the leaner’s seat. Read more here.

Upcoming Chinese immersion Camp for teachers of Chinese in AKL on 28/94/10. More information to follow soon, check for updates.

Key Contacts and Links Advisory Support National Advisers for Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish provide language specific support and can also offer advice about foreign language assistants and scholarship and immersion opportunities for each language.

National Coordinators for Learning Languages, Secondary Student Achievement Contract, focus on effective implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum and the NCEA realigned achievement standards as well as the development of literacy and language practices.  

Northern & Central Regions please contact: Dee Edwards. Southern & Central South Regions please contact: Jo Guthrie

NZALT The New Zealand Association of Language Teachers offers a nationwide network to support language teachers, including regional meetings, professional development, awards, newsletters, conferences and advocacy on key issues. Professional Development Opportunities TPDL (Teacher Professional Development Languages) is a Ministry of Education funded programme aimed at developing teacher language proficiency and second language teaching capabilities in order to improve student language learning outcomes. TPDL is available to beginners as well as language experts. ILEP (International Languages Exchanges and Pathways) supports schools and teachers to implement the Learning Languages curriculum area, particularly at Years 7 and 8. Language Immersion Awards are provided by the Ministry of Education for teachers of languages to undertake immersion experiences overseas. Further details are available at the AFS website.

Don't forget! Check out the Learning Languages Website for regular updates and more information.

Learning Languages Newsletter July 2013  
Learning Languages Newsletter July 2013