With China now being the #2 largest economy in the world, and with Hong Kong SAR occupying a more and more central role in the country’s affairs, the importance of Mandarin is something that can no longer be understated. As the preferred language of business and education in the mainland, as well as in many Chinese communities overseas, many families are now looking to equip their students with the skills to converse in and understand Mandarin and thus connect with this larger community. Knowledge of this language can open up a lot of opportunities for these students in the future.
Although Mandarin usage in Hong Kong is slowly gaining ground, we here at ALEC also acknowledge that Mandarin can be a difficult language to learn, especially for students who are not of Chinese descent. With Hong Kong’s multicultural landscape, these students face many barriers to learning due to their unfamiliarity with the language. We have designed and constructed our Primary School Mandarin programme with this in mind. We believe that Mandarin has to be taught in an effective as well as an engaging way.