All posts by Emilie QI

A ” Sentence Building” activity to develop writing skill in Mandarin FL language

At the start of this unit, Mandarin students have started to learn to build sentences with all the vocabulary learned so far. This activity covers the grade level from Grade 2 to Grade 5,it will go through the steps below:

Step 1: Kids practice to build simple sentence with “one subject +verb+object” in their earliest practice.

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Step 2: Kids practice to build sentence with compound subject .



Step 3: Kids practice to build the sentence with two verbs.


Step 4: Kids practice to build simple sentence with adjective and adverb. (The complexity of the use of adjectives and adverbs are based on children’s language ability.)



Use “Circle Map” to organise what you want to talk


This ‘Circle Map’ is originally used in writing narrative. But i think it also works well to prepare topic-talking/speaking, especially for FL learners who are not able to talk or express more fluently in a foreign language.

In the middle of circle, the topic is given, then according to this topic, write down related events which impressed you more, then give a bit more details for each event you listed on the map, (also called “Tell Me More”).

Inquiry Team-Spit it out

It was great to have a PD day to keep learning; and it is awesome to be one member of the Group “Spit It Out”.

“Oral interaction develops thinking and acts as a bridge to reading and writing.” We decided to use this to be our statement for the inquiry subject “Talk and engagement”.

Inquiry Questions

  • What activities motivate and promote students to use oral language?
  • How do students transfer speaking skills to reading and writing?
  • What is the relationship between oral language and accessing conceptual understanding?
 It’s come out some “First thinking” related to our inquiry questions after discussing among the team:
  • Small group discussing (less threatening)
  • Activities based on interest and experience
  • Debatable questions or something that requires consensus
  • Visual thinking routines
  • Visual representation that can be referred orally (this, that), ➡️ the use of vocabulary
  • Tool to express thinking and wondering
  • Tool to generate ideas that can be organised later in writing
  • Tool that towards linguistic complexity

Below is one of suggestions given by a peer,


OK, let’s google “Pauline Gibbons…”.

Keep it up !

How International We Are


This year I welcomed a new class from Grade 2 students studying Mandarin as a foreign language. They are very enthusiastic, all with different personalities and interests. Faced with a class full of lively and lovable children, I am thinking how I will plan my teaching for these kids, how much I can learn from them during this teaching journey.

For the first lesson, we had a free chatting to get know each other, through it I found that our kids are all little LINGUISTS! Apart from their mother tongue, they all speak another foreign language, and this year they start their third language – Mandarin with me.

The smiles and self-confidence on their faces deeply impressed and inspired me. I realized that how important our work is and how many responsibilities we have while teaching them. As an educator, I am keen to enrich my professional knowledge and enhance my professional abilities to better support them.