Held on the 12th Jun 2019
at 5:30pm to
Once upon a time, the expression ‘it’s all Chinese to me’ meant ‘I don’t understand’.
The time has now come when the expression is no longer a common idiom though few people (Tasmanians) can navigate the ins and outs of Chinese (or China).
When Chinese was first introduced at Elizabeth Matriculation College (EMC), it was established as an evening language course at a time when Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister. It was one of many ‘community’ languages under the early days of the Multi-Cultural Policy.
Eventually it became a day time pre-tertiary course for students Grades 11-12. A couple of government schools tried to offer Chinese for students Grades 7-10 with mixed success. China is now a major trading partner; those who claim Chinese heritage in Australia number in the thousands and yet, the study of Chinese at high school level is now only available in one Tasmanian government high school.
Asia literacy has been embedded in the Australian Curriculum Framework but establishing the study of Chinese is a tall order. Is Chinese really hard? What can we do to ensure that everyone knows a little more about the ‘Chinese’ and support future communities?
About the Presenter
Hingor Chung has worked as a languages teacher for the Department of Education in Tasmania (K-12) since 1982.
Her own experiences have taken her from teaching Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian at pre-tertiary level to Indonesian at primary schools, then Chinese and Japanese at high school level. Hingor Chung has made various contributions to the Tasmanian Schools Board as examiner and syllabus writer.
Hingor Chung attended government schools in Hobart and is a graduate of ANU. Her colleagues at Taroona High include several former students.