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Blakehurst High School

Blakehurst High School

Nihil Sine Labore - Nothing Without Hard Work

Telephone02 9546 3281


Chinese for background speakers Year 11 and Year 12

The language

The language to be studied and assessed is the modern standard/official version of Chinese. For the purpose of this syllabus, modern standard Chinese is taken to be Putonghua in the spoken form. In the written form, texts, questions and tasks for the external examination will be provided in simplified characters and full-form (complex) characters, and responses can be presented in either simplified characters or full form (complex) characters. The romanised form of the character text is Hanyu Pinyin.

Description of target group

The Chinese background speakers syllabus is designed for students with a cultural and linguistic background in Chinese. Eligibility criteria exist for courses in Chinese. See the Assessment, Certification and Examination (ACE) manual for details.


The study of Chinese contributes to the overall education of students, particularly in the areas of communication, cross-cultural understanding, literacy, cognitive development and general knowledge. The study develops an understanding of how attitudes and values are shaped within both Chinese-speaking and Australian communities. Chinese is a significant world language, one of the official languages of the United Nations and is spoken by about a quarter of the world's population. There are many spoken varieties of Chinese, and modern standard Chinese is pre-eminent among these. It is the major language of communication in China, Taiwan and Singapore and is widely used by Chinese communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia. The Peoples' Republic of China has a significant profile in economic, political and cultural developments globally and, in particular, has a major influence on the nations of the Asia-Pacific. Australia now has a strong connection through trade, political and cultural contacts with both the Peoples' Republic of China and other nations where Chinese communities are important contributors to their growth and diversity. Chinese culture and language have a continuous history of more than 5000 years. The Chinese cultural and linguistic heritage has influenced other cultures through knowledge, technology, religion, philosophy and values. It is a significant world culture.

Chinese is especially important in Australia because it is widely spoken in the community, and the study of it will enhance the positive features of a culturally diverse society and generate mutual respect. The study of Chinese provides access to an important cultural and linguistic heritage.

Studying Chinese can provide a basis for continued learning and a pathway for students into post-secondary options. These options might include employment domestically or internationally in areas such as tourism, technology, finance, services and business. The significance of Chinese within and beyond Australia requires strategies for the building of socio-cultural and political engagement; learning Chinese in the Australian context will support such engagement.

Aims and objectives

The aims of the syllabus are to develop students'

  • ability to use Chinese to communicate with others
  • understanding and appreciation of the cultural contexts in which Chinese is used
  • ability to reflect on their own and other cultures
  • understanding of language as a system
  • opportunities to make connections between Chinese and English and/or other languages
  • cognitive, learning and social skills
  • potential to apply Chinese to work, further study, training or leisure.

Students will achieve the following objectives:

  • objective 1.  exchange information, opinions and ideas in Chinese
  • objective 2.  express ideas through the production of original texts in Chinese
  • objective 3.  analyse, evaluate and respond to a range of texts that are in Chinese
  • objective 4.  understand aspects of the language and culture of Chinese-speaking communities.

Meeting these objectives will involve using the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, either individually or in combination, and being able to move between Chinese and English.

Main themes

Themes provide a context and organisational focus within which students will develop their knowledge of Chinese. The study of themes, presented through a range of texts, will enable students to reflect on, and respond to, aspects of the language and culture of Chinese-speaking communities. Students will develop skills in exchanging, analysing and evaluating information, opinions and ideas.

Prescribed themes and contemporary issues

There are four prescribed themes:

  1. the individual and the community
  2. youth culture
  3. Chinese communities overseas
  4. global issues

Each theme has a number of prescribed contemporary issues with which students will engage in their study of Chinese. The contemporary issues are intended to provide a particular perspective or perspectives for each of the themes.

  1. The theme, the individual and the community, enables students to examine the relationship between individuals and groups. This theme will explore changing attitudes towards family and gender groups.
  2. The theme, youth culture, examines the role of young people in society, and takes into account social and educational perspectives.
  3. The theme, Chinese communities overseas, enables students to examine the Chinese culture as it is experienced in non-Chinese cultural settings.
  4. The theme, global issues, looks at aspects of the changing world, such as economic growth, the environment and the global community.

Course requirements

For the preliminary course:

  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course
  • themes and contemporary issues are prescribed for study.

For the HSC course:

  • the preliminary course is a prerequisite
  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course
  • themes, contemporary issues and texts are prescribed for study.

Blakehurst High School has been offering the course for many years. Every year, our students achieve outstanding results in their HSC Examinations.

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