Chinese: Understanding Culture Through the Language

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What’s it all about?

Some students of Chinese may know that 97% of characters are formed by combining a meaning component with a sound component. What many students overlook, however, is that analysing these components gives one incredible insight into the Chinese culture.

This introductory lesson will be useful for everyone interested in the Chinese culture, the Chinese language and/or interested in an alternate approach to study Chinese.

What will we cover?

In this lesson we will move beyond the onerous and laborious aspect of learning Chinese characters and explore what characters teach us about the Chinese culture. We will learn about Chinese numbers, respect for elders, value for education, positions and time – all by analysing simple Chinese characters. This makes the study of the Chinese language more interesting and develops and strengthens neural pathways for us to remember Chinese characters.

Who will be teaching?

Patrick Chin-Dahler is Head of Languages at Koo Wee Rup Secondary College and is currently working with TED-ED to create an animation on the Chinese concept of time.