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New Zealand China Council
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You live a new life for every language you speak

September 21, 2020

This week is the New Zealand Chinese Language Week, and we were delighted to interview Professor Martin East from the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics and Dr Danping Wang, a lecturer in Chinese from the University of Auckland. Professor East is also the author of the NZCC’s report on teaching languages in schools, commissioned in 2018.

In this podcast, you will hear a discussion on how mandarin language learning is tracking at the various levels of the New Zealand school system. Participants discussed the barriers to learning Chinese, the increasing role of technology in language learning, and the structural and ideological overhaul needed to improve New Zealand’s Chinese fluency.

The NZCC reminds listeners that submissions are currently being accepted for the Education (Strengthening Second Language Learning in Primary and Intermediate Schools) Amendment Bill.


00:40 The value of learning another language
03:32 An update on mandarin learning at primary and intermediate schools
04:34 The Mandarin Language Assistant (MLA) programme – opportunities and challenges
10:54 Why the number of students studying mandarin at the secondary school level continues to decrease
15:27 How can we increase the number of mandarin learners
16:04 The possible impact of a national language learning policy
21:10 The role technology plays in language learning
24:59 Mandarin learning at the tertiary level
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