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Te Aro kids celebrate diversity in Mandarin

Apr 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

te aro MAIN

KIDS WILL BE KIDS: A group of children at Te Aro School, which has around 40 nationalities on its roll. Photo: Grace Ackland

TE ARO School has been teaching China’s Mandarin dialect since last year and children and teachers have responded well to it.

Principal Bryce Coleman says because of the large number of students coming from 40 different countries, the school decided to do something to reflect that diversity.

The children originate from places like India, Africa, China and Iraq.

Mr Coleman went on a trip to China with other principals and teachers for a conference about the Mandarin language.

The result is that Mandarin is now taught to years three to eight.

Elements of the two languages are used during the school day, for example when children are asked to listen, stand up, for dates and greetings.

To mark race relations week last month, the teachers got everybody involved, with the children having to wear an outfit influenced by their cultural heritage.

Everyone chose to bring a plate with their country’s food on it, and all the children got to try the different foods.

“Everyone had a lot of fun and got really into expressing their culture,” says Bryce Coleman.

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