Welcome letter to families

Welcome to Ni Hao Children’s Community!

We are delighted to have you join us and hope that you and your child will enjoy the opportunity of learning another language. Research has shown that learning an additional language has a myriad of benefits including cognitive development, enhanced career prospects and more. Parents have also noticed that our programme helps to develop the children’s confidence, group speaking skills and improved awareness of the English language.

Ni Hao Children’s Community is an inclusive community and we value your feedback and ideas as well as any support you can provide. Our charitable trust was established in 2014 by our founder as she wanted to offer children an exposure to Mandarin Chinese language in a fun and interactive style so that the children see Mandarin in a positive way.

The programme started as a small weekly playgroup / preschooler class at the end of 2014 and it has since grown to include a variety of classes for different age groups, a holiday programme, online resources, cultural events and activities.

Our teachers Lizzie and Qiubo are native Mandarin speakers, and Lizzie has been with us since 2015! Their passion and enthusiasm for engaging our Mandarin learners is evident in all sessions ranging from stories, games, writing practice, conversations, songs and more. You can find out more about the team at our website.

Please read our Class Guidelines online before attending classes, so you know how we run the classes and about the support that the children (your and others) need from you.

Enrolled child’s information 

Please ensure that all of your contact details are completed in full, and your child’s emergency contacts and medical information is up to date on the EnrolMy system.
An enrolled child information survey will be emailed out to families, asking for one survey to be completed for each child at the start of term. This short survey is being done for the purposes of lesson planning for your child and their class, and improving the Mandarin Chinese programme for them. Your answers will remain confidential and will only be identifiable to / viewed by staff.

Learning Support

You will receive access to the song lyrics and audio files for your child’s class within the first 2 weeks of term. This was usually via an emailed Dropbox invitation, but we are considering moving to a password protected space on our website and/or via the Slack mobile app. The lyrics and audio files belong to Ni Hao Children’s Community, so are for your personal use only and not for reproducing.

Weekly lesson handouts are available on our website https://nihaocc.org.nz/category/weekly-handout/ . Sometimes one handout will include a few week’s worth of vocabulary. General news updates are also on https://nihaocc.org.nz/news/

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel NiHaoCCTV for class revision videos made by the staff, a variety of cartoons, storytimes (English picture book titles read in Mandarin) and songs. (This may eventually move to the NHCC website, to avoid all those YouTube ads, but we have yet to figure out how.)

Website news updates are also cross-posted to our Facebook page which you can follow: https://www.facebook.com/NiHaoCC/

We are going to try using Slack as a mobile app for our community from Term 2 onwards, so watch out for an emailed invitation to join Ni Hao Children’s Community Slack Workspace. Hopefully it’ll be a good way to bring together all the different learning resources into one mobile app. Trial & error, so please bear with us!

Curriculum

We follow the Better Chinese curriculum resource and general info on this is available to view on our website.

The textbooks and writing books can be ordered for extra practice at home for the school aged children if desired by the family. Please note that at this stage, we do not assign homework or have any formal assessments. Check the links below to view the relevant series on the Australasian provider website of Better Chinese:
School Kids Years 1 to 8 Level 1: My First Chinese Reader Volume 1
School Kids Years 1 to 8 Level 2: My First Chinese Reader Volume 2

We recommend that you enrol for a whole year to get the most out of the taught curriculum as it follows in a sequential order. Note that the programme covers school ages up to adults, so there are many years in this.

Parent-teacher communications

Please feel free to contact your Mandarin teacher during term time. Please ask questions and provide feedback to the teachers during the term itself, so that we can address things promptly. We’re happy to chat about your child’s progress, listen to feedback and consider what adjustments can be practically made for the classes and programme.

You can touch base with Qiubo and Lizzie before or after classes, or contact Lizzie during the week as Qiubo is on limited hours (busy attending university during the weekdays).
You can also contact Li Ling directly by phone or via email. She’s also usually around at classes on fortnightly Saturdays. Please note that she is helping with this in her after hours, so there will usually be delay in responding.

Language progress

Better Chinese is a school curriculum, intended to be delivered 5 times a week, with a daily lesson of an hour, and over several years. In comparison, our programme is only seeing children once a week!
Learning any kind of language only once a week with little exposure to it outside of class has slow progress, so please be aware of the limitations of the programmes. Language learning is also not the same as teaching or learning how to swim, play soccer or dance.

Our teachers personally learnt the English language 5 to 7 days a week as children in China, from primary school until high school, with homework and extra after school tuition in a non-English environment. They can share with you about their experiences and difficulty in learning a foreign language – this will shed some light about the challenges of learning a different language in a mostly English environment and to think about what this means for enrolled children.

Support for the charity

We are a small charitable trust and a very lean team, so do appreciate any support parents can provide, whether through volunteering or general patience with the programme’s evolving nature. The charity’s programmes are as much a learning process for us, as it is often in the education sector! We do our best with the resource we have, and are always self-evaluating and looking to improve the programme for the children.

Thank you again for enrolling your child in Ni Hao Children’s Community and we look forward to learning Mandarin with your child during the year.

Xie xie !谢谢!
Li Ling 丽玲   Programme Director / Founder liling@nihaocc.org.nz  022 306 0365
Lizzie 怡  Teacher lizzie@nihaocc.org.nz  022 190 4410
Qiubo 秋搏  Teacher qiubo@nihaocc.org.nz  022 102 2680

Credits: Thank you to parent volunteer Catherine for helping to draft the initial welcome letter for us!