- Giving children the opportunity to learn the Mandarin Chinese language is growing massively in popularity in Australasia and Mandarin is being increasingly recognized as one of the most important languages to learn after English.
5 Reasons to Learn Mandarin Chinese
- China is one of the world’s oldest and richest continuous cultures, over 5000 years old.
- China is the second largest economy in the world. and one of largest trading partners of Australasia.
- Chinese is spoken by over 1 billion people around the world, (about one fifth of the global population) making it the most widely spoken first language in the world.
- China plays a major role in world affairs and economies and international businesses prefer to hire people who speak more than one language.
- Even a basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese will lend those people an edge in competitive job markets.
Image source: http://www.essentialkids.com.au
A recent experiment / study, conducted by two New Zealand universities for “encouraging active play” in school playgrounds, turned up some unsurprising results. The detrimental effects of the Westernised, and increasingly pervasive, “cotton wool” approach to child safety, and the impact of all these rules and regulations on our kids, is noticeable in the behaviour that is manifested on the playground.
If we’re to be honest, there probably wasn’t too much need for the study in the first place. The past experience of our educators, and sound judgement rather than “knee jerk reactions”, should be enough when it comes to the Health & Safety regulations that are put in place in schools.
So, despite our overly litigious westernised society, (which is the reason so often given for the regulations), it’s always a good idea to let common sense prevail when it comes to raising those “little bundles”!
Have your say: Do we worry too much about Health & Safety?
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Here’s an excerpt from a recent online article about the experiment.
Friday 31st January 2014 sees the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse.
The Chinese Zodiac, known as Shēngxiào, is based on a 12-year cycle and each year in that cycle is related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal is associated with an “earthly branch” such as fire, water, metal or wood.
It’s believed that the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar originated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), during which they were used to count years in the same way as the modern Christian calendar.
Are you a horse?
Horses symbolize graciousness, dignity, momentum and firmness. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Horse are regarded as intelligent, witty, elegant, eloquent speakers and charming. Their excellent communicaton skills and intolerance of failure usually sees them succeed in life.
Friday 21st February is International Mother Language Day and worldwide it is a day to encourage people to continue using their mother language, while learning and using more than one language. So get your tongues wagging to spread the love for your mother language!
Established in 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Mother Language Day has been observed since February 2000 and aims to celebrate the celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity, and to promote the preservation and protection of all the languages used by people of the world!
Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the long fast for the Lent period in many Christian churches and has many names, including Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the Tuesday of Carnival, and Pancake Day.
The tradition of Shrove Tuesday derives from medieval Christianity, where Christians would enjoy one last day of feasting by using up all their eggs, butter, and milk – all of which were forbidden during the forthcoming Lent – to make pancakes and pastries.
Although the French term ‘Mardi Gras’ refers to a day of plenty, the term ‘Carnival’ – as it’s referred to in Spanish and Italian-speaking countries – is derived from the words “carne levar” (to take away meat) pointing out another aspect of the Lenten fast.