Author: Li Ling


Upcoming job vacancies!

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We will be soon looking to fill these roles at Ni Hao Children’s Community charitable trust, a community-based Mandarin Chinese language school for non-native speakers. If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact us or share:

➡️ A part-time School Manager superstar. We need an all-rounder who has excellent communication & customer service skills, and experience with finance, marketing & student admin. Being cloud & tech-savvy is a must (Eg Xero, WordPress, Vimeo, Dropbox, Office365 suite, Mailchimp, MyHR, Zapier, Jotforms).

➡️ 2 to 3 permanent part-time Mandarin Chinese teachers, who are experienced in planning and teaching it as a 2nd/foreign language in an interactive & fun way! They should enjoy working with children from early childhood up to intermediate-high school, and be willing to sing/rap, play and dance with students in class.

➡️ 3 to 5 casual Mandarin Chinese teachers to be part of our on-call relievers pool. They won’t need to lesson plan but will be teaching the NiHaoCC way and provide seamless cover. This may suit tertiary students studying to be teachers.

* Note: While background work is done Monday to Friday, the school provides classes on Saturdays 9am-3pm during NZ school term times, so teachers must be available on Saturdays to work.


Stillness & concentration, but with social & playful fun too!

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Here are a few photos from today showing a time for stillness & concentration (writing section of the school aged kids classes) – it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop! – and a time for fun & social play (the school yard game section, where children use Mandarin for play) – with the kids shouting in Mandarin! It’s great to be able to learn/teach a language in a well-rounded, holistic way 😊


One day to go before our Crazy Rich Asians film fundraiser!!

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Wow! It has been amazing to see all the ticket sales and the support from everyone!! Thank you so so much 🙂 We didn’t really think it would turn out so well considering we only started organising this 8 days ago! It is very much appreciated!

There are still some tickets left and raffle prizes to be won (as we are not carrying them home!). There are no door sales available so please head over to buy the film tickets online at

Every ticket comes with a wine/OJ.

You then have a choice of either a cone of ice cream (hokey pokey, boysenberry, or vanilla) OR a cone of yummy Kacang Puteh. We have ended up making three different types: sugar coated peanuts, spicy peas and muruku (chickpea flour sticks), and tapioca chips. Kacang Puteh is traditionally served in recycled paper so you may see some of our older kids class hand outs 😉

There is also a raffle happening on the night so please bring some change! $2 a ticket or $5 for 3 tickets. 1st prize includes: 30 minute spa voucher at Elderberry & Kate on Willis Street (nice!), Mojo coffee with accessories, $40 vouchers to Little Penang, …

There are also other smaller prizes, such as movie tickets, Mojo coffee vouchers, small hair / skin product hampers, more Little Penang vouchers,…

It will be a great night out and a cosy night in with this cold weather! We look forward to seeing everyone 🙂

Class-Home Resources, FAQs, News

9 Factors that Influence Language Learning for Kids

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This is a great blog post by a Montessori preschool / International Baccalaureate school in USA that summarises important factors that influence language learning. There’s no miracle working in language learning!

It’s common to believe that a child’s skill with learning an additional language comes naturally. We don’t agree. Yes, some children do pick up language skills faster than others—but that doesn’t mean that the ability to learn a language is an attribute possessed by only a lucky few.

When students start learning an additional language at Whitby, some do soak up the knowledge faster than others. Yet it’s not just natural ability at work. We’ve actually found that there are many internal and external factors that influence how fast students pick up a new language.

  1. Motivation? Are they being forced? Is there a lot of negative pressure on them at home?
  2. Is another language spoken at home?
  3. Is this their first foreign language?
  4. How does the student feel in the classroom? Is it a safe, relaxed space for them?
  5. How is the language taught? Immersion?
  6. How attainable does it feel to the student? Do they feel like what they’re learning is out of reach?
  7. Is the student introverted or extroverted? Is speaking in front of groups challenging?
  8. How old is the student?
  9. How comfortable do they feel learning the language in their current country? If their social group, school influence or society around them influence them a certain way, it may be a hindrance to learning. If a student comes along with the belief that it is “better” to learn a European language than an Asian language, there is an immediate barrier to engagement and mental block right there and it will be difficult to learn any Asian language…

Read the full post here:

We’d also like to add a very important #10 – How comfortable is the student with making lots of mistakes and not being perfect? Do they have a fixed or growth mindset? Learning a language, especially to speak a language, is all about trying, making mistakes, and learning along the way. A useful article on this: The learning myth: Why I’ll never tell my son he’s smart, by Sal Khan, of Khan Academy.

News, Notices

Crazy pineapples! 🍍

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We’ve just wrapped up another fun Mandarin Play holiday program!

Over the three days, the children aged 5-10 worked together to come up with a play plot, script and props, while Qiubo was there to facilitate!

They also had fun playing games in Mandarin and hearing the books they brought from home read in Mandarin too.

The children renamed their holiday program group as the Crazy Pineapples, and their storyline for the play went like this:

  • There was a group of horses and snakes
  • The snakes kept chasing after the horses and chased them all home
  • Once the horses were at home, they found out the snakes had stolen all their food
  • The cleverest snake then throw in a bomb to their house
  • The horses chased after the snakes, and chased them into a lake
  • The snakes drowned and died, apart from one snake, who escaped and threw raspberries (the fruits) at the horses
  • The horses were allergic to the raspberries!
  • They had to dance it out to get rid of the allergic reaction (they danced to a popular Mandarin children’s song)
  • Then they all fell asleep, woke up and found out it was all a dream.

Some snapshots of the “paperwork” are below!