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Mandarin Curricular Goals

Mandarin Grade Level Curricular Goals and Focal Points

In third grade, students have the option to begin the study of Mandarin. Students are exposed to the
Chinese-speaking world and cultures, and they begin to learn and differentiate tones as well to study the
language with Pinyin (Mandarin using the Roman alphabet). Students also learn to recognize and write
common Mandarin characters. In the Upper School, students delve further in the study of characters.
Similar to our French and Spanish programs, Brookwood's Mandarin program aims to prepare students for
second year high school placement. The program is being implemented by Elizabeth Hammett. Fluent in
all aspects of Mandarin, Hammett holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s
degree in education from Harvard University with a specialized major focusing on Global Competence.
At each respective grade level, our goal is to have students:

Grade One

  • Recognize and recall the following vocabulary blocks:
  • Fruit
  • Numbers 1-10
  • 11 colors
  • Letters of the alphabet
  • Common action verbs
  • Respond with the appropriate actions to several classroom commands and action verbs
  • Answer simple questions:
  • What is your name?
  • How are you?
  • Develop some understanding of the countries in which the language is spoken


Grade Two

  • Perform short skits
  • Answer increasingly complex questions:
  • What do you like to do?
  • Classroom objects
  • Additional verbs
  • Where is/are….?
  • Do you like….?
  • What you want
  • Read, write, and recall the following vocabulary blocks:
  • Family
  • Animals
  • Learn songs, stories, and traditions from countries in which the language is spoken

Grade 3

  • Recognize and name new vocabulary blocks
  • Answer familiar questions with stock phrases
  • Begin to understand tones
  • Recognize 10 common radicals
  • Write your name in Chinese Characters
  • Write some familiar Chinese Characters
  • Basic introductions
  • Numbers 1-50
  • Family members
  • Additional farm animals
  • School supplies
  • Action verbs
  • Learn songs, stories, and traditions from China and Taiwan


Grade 4

  • Recognize and name new vocabulary blocks
  • Begin to hear and produce tones
  • Recognize familiar radicals
  • 10 more radicals
  • Utilize numbers 1-99 in math problems
  • Tell time
  • Nature and weather
  • Months, days of the week, and seasons
  • Write short sentences
  • Learn songs, stories and traditions from China and Taiwan


Grade Five:

  • Identify the tones in single-syllable words
  • Begin to produce tones correctly
  • Identify common radicals within characters
  • Write sentences in Chinese characters
  • Begin to read pinyin
  • Read paragraphs in characters
  • Plural and possessive nouns
  • Explore points of interest in areas in which Chinese is widely spoken
  • Begin to understand cultural nuances

Grade Six:

  • Write words using the pinyin phonetic system
  • Identify the tones of individual syllables
  • Utilize correct stroke order when writing characters
  • Understand and begin to use basic Chinese word order and grammatical patterns
  • Write short paragraphs in Chinese characters
  • Ask for and provide contact information
  • Family members
  • How old are you?
  • Household pets
  • Adjectives to describe people
  • Ask informational questions using the interrogatives
  • Adverbials of place
  • Understand the use of measure words (words that must go between a number and a noun when
  • discussing quantity)
  • Negate verbs
  • Correctly utilize polite phrases in culturally appropriate ways
  • Identify and locate major landforms and cities on a map of China
  • Delve further into Chinese culture and cultural nuances

Grade Seven:

  • Consistently hear tones and say single-syllable words with accurate pronunciation
  • Identify common radicals (discrete meaning-bearing pieces of Chinese characters), and utilize this
  • understanding to correctly write characters
  • Tell time
  • Write and say the date
  • Hobbies
  • Daily routine
  • Talk about school
  • Colors
  • Food
  • Household objects
  • Adverbials of time and place
  • Speak in future and past tense
  • Make plans with someone
  • Ask questions using positive and negative verb forms
  • Ask questions of choice
  • Additional measure words
  • Identify and appreciate cultural nuances

Grade Eight:

  • Hear and produce multi-syllabic words with correct tones
  • Read a short narrative in Chinese
  • Write a short narrative in characters
  • Use conjunctions to correctly portray sequence of events
  • Present progressive tense
  • Discuss likes and dislikes
  • Describe buildings and rooms
  • Discuss and describe geography
  • Prepositional phrases
  • Use optative verbs (similar to subjunctive)
  • Superlatives
  • Order food
  • Modify nouns
  • Additional measure words
  • Identify and appreciate cultural nuances
  • Famous figures in Chinese and East Asian history and culture

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