Mandarin is one of the world's most widely spoken languages and studying it opens doors to not only a greater understanding of the language, but in turn an understanding of the culture. The Swire Chinese Language Foundation chases this goal through its aim to increase teaching provision, in addition to organising enrichment activities for pupils to learn about the Chinese language and culture. On Monday 4 December, a SWIRE event open to all children in South Edinburgh studying the subject was held at George Watson’s College to help develop skills in ‘hacking’ the language and inspire their studies.
Following the welcoming speech by our Principal, Mr Melvyn Roffe, guest speaker Olle Ling, an author, educator and creator of the website Hacking Chinese, conducted the Hacking Chinese Workshop, teaching pupils valuable skills to aid in learning Mandarin, which he wished he had learned during his study of the challenging language.
Then the pupils took to the stage to share their experience abroad and the importance of learning the language to them through an array of slideshows and speeches.
The band, Transition, which created the official song for the Taipei Olympic Team at the London 2012 Games called Olympic Dream, performed for the audience in both the Junior and the Senior School events. The band performed a series of songs in Chinese that both pupils and staff clapped, and sang along to.
Overall, this event proved to be useful and entertaining for those studying Mandarin, bringing together the practical elements of learning the language and allowing pupils to enjoy elements of the culture that surrounds it.