Mandarin

Language learning is an important part of our learning philosophy at Dulwich College (Singapore). We believe that learning a language is essential to understanding the world and to appreciating the subtleties of cultural differences. Mandarin is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and anyone able to speak it will have more opportunities open to them in the future. Dulwich College International schools have developed a strong Mandarin programme. At Dulwich College (Singapore) Mandarin is taught as a native language, second language and foreign language. To meet the learning needs of each student, the Dulwich Mandarin curriculum employs three pathways: MFL (Mandarin as a Foreign Language), MSL (Mandarin as a Second Language), CNL (Chinese as a Native Language). At Dulwich College (Singapore) we want to ensure that your children attain the best possible learning outcomes.

Our Dual Language approach in DUCKS gives our youngest students an opportunity to become comfortable speaking two languages at an early age. Lessons are taught by a native English speaking teacher with a Mandarin speaking Assistant Teacher. Grasping concepts in two languages has benefits for both language learning and cognitive development. Young children are highly receptive to language acquisition and in our dual language programme, which is offered in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2, children will develop meta-linguistic awareness, that is, an understanding of how language works. We recognise the importance of Mandarin as a global language. It is well documented that children’s cognitive development is at a higher than expected level when they learn in a multi-lingual environment. Children at Dulwich College (Singapore) will learn in an environment rich in both English and Mandarin, enabling them to move seamlessly between both languages. Within the framework of the English National Curriculum, linguistic development in both languages will receive equal attention and be tailored to meet each child’s individual needs. The teachers will work closely together to observe, plan and assess each child, sharing information daily. The Lead Teacher (whose first language is English) is responsible for the delivery of the English curriculum and will ensure that the activities planned and language spoken meet each child’s needs. Alongside the dual language environment, children from reception to Year 2 will have set Mandarin sessions every day. Students will be placed according to their Mandarin level.

The Junior School is a Golden Period for foreign language Mandarin learners because they are most likely to take a leap of progress in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at the same time.
- Jenny Zhang, Junior School Mandarin Head

The aim of the Junior School Mandarin programme is to ensure that students develop listening, speaking, reading, writing skills essential to achieve their linguistic potential, to foster their curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our teaching enables students to express their ideas and thoughts, and provides opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking, and read literature in the original language. At Junior School, students take Mandarin on a daily basis. Our students range from complete beginners to those with fully age-appropriate native-language literacy skills, and children are separated according to ability.

The richness and diversity of our College communities is such that the full spectrum of linguistic ability in Mandarin is found within our student body. To meet the learning needs of each student, the Dulwich College (Singapore) Mandarin curriculum employs three pathways: Mandarin A- Chinese as a Native Language, Mandarin B - Mandarin as a Second Language, and Mandarin C - Mandarin as a Foreign Language.