As we enter the Year of the Monkey, it is a good time to reflect upon the importance of Chinese language and culture, not only here in China, but increasingly, globally as well.
For our children today, an understanding of China is crucial. Whether they are born here or abroad they will undoubtedly be affected by this emerging economic superpower. Throughout the world whether in fashion, technology, business or politics, China is showing its vast impact.
“China is becoming an economic and social leader in the world so learning and understanding Chinese language and culture is crucial for success in almost every future career” explains Helena Hicks, Director of Chinese Studies at Wellington College International Shanghai. Wellington commits to an extensive and well supported Chinese curriculum, “This Chinese New Year we have been working hard to create opportunities for Wellingtonians to fall in love with Chinese customs”.
Chinese New Year has been growing globally, with almost every major city hosting large events and festivities.
“At Wellington, even in our second year, the whole community is involved, with almost 500 costumes- representing numerous ethnicities, styles and eras, the parental and teacher support is enormous. We love the festive atmosphere and it is exciting for the pupils to see their British school turn Chinese for the holiday!” says Helena Hicks. “We could not be more proud about the appreciation of the language and culture the community has here, almost every department is involved, especially the Arts which has been focusing on the local culture to support the school’s New Year Celebration performances by the pupils as well as professional performers”.
With many celebrations in almost every international school in Shanghai it is clear that these elite schools find importance in their students having a deep understanding of the local culture. Wellington College International Shanghai welcomed large audiences to each of their three performances, including our distinguished guest John Edwards, Consul General from British Consulate General Shanghai.
The College’s celebrations give Wellingtonians the opportunity to immerse themselves in this extraordinary culture including regional performances such as Year 4’s Shanghainese traditional poetry reading (the school offers Shanghainese topics for native Chinese speakers). “We are excited to welcome visitors from local schools as well as children from the charitable organisation ‘Pride from the Mountains’”, says Helena Hicks.
The schools near flawless Mandarin iGCSE results as well as a robust and tailored curriculum for language learners even includes calligraphy lessons to teach the discipline of Chinese writing. Wellington offers specific courses for native speakers, first language learners and second language learners showing the school’s determination to give its pupils an in depth education in Chinese language and culture.
Wellington College’s partner school in the United Kingdom has made China a crucial part of their pupils learning by celebrating Chinese holidays and providing mandatory Mandarin classes to its younger years.
“Wellingtonians are enthusiastic learners of Chinese, they understand the importance of China globally” says Annie Wang, Assistant Director of Chinese Studies at Wellington. “They are very curious to know more. Celebrations like Chinese New Year allows them to explore and motivates them to practice their skills.”