Since moving to Brisbane in July 2015, I am now the full time teacher of my 2 children, integrating our learning of art, technology, science, world matters, literacy, maths, and of course Mandarin into what matters to us in our daily lives. Teaching is what matters most to me, and as well as teaching my own kids, I want to share the joys that learning the Mandarin language can bring to other children and their carers in the community.
My own Chinese learning journey has been at university and travelling to China. But it has been by learning together as a family with my kids, that child’s perspective, that has developed me as the best teacher I can be. During my kids’ early years, I developed and presented Mandarin Song and Story times at community centres, libraries and language schools, just so that my kids experienced the fun of learning Mandarin in an environment just as natural as regular story time, and alongside other kids.
My kids are growing now, and we continue our Chinese learning journey together, and keeping up with their interests (it’s all about saving the planet and Harry Potter in Chinese now!) ensures that my Mandarin learning journey never gets boring!!
When my kids started school, it was time for me to go back to work. I was already a registered teacher, and I had accumulated so much knowledge and resources for integrating Mandarin into my children’s lives, it seemed a natural progression to use it for children in the school community. At the time the Australian government were offering scholarships for teachers interested in languages to further formalize their Mandarin skills and gain LOTE specialisation, so I went back to Uni again and became a specialised Mandarin teacher! I also trained in AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology) using kinesthetic sign and gesture together with pared down language technique to get kids communicating faster in a target language.
I then taught Mandarin to the Pre-school and Early Primary at the Essington School Darwin, and then to Primary, Middle and Seniors at the MYP/ IB Kormilda College Darwin.
I loved my job as I can think of no better way to spend my day having fun doing stuff in Chinese with little kids! It’s not just riotous fun though, although that’s how I felt about it sometimes! It is carefully planned content to provide an integrative motivational orientation to a lifelong learning of Mandarin, and other languages.
Now we are in Brisbane, we have built a learning space at our home, so that my kids and I can work on our projects together, and it can also be a space for babies, toddlers, home/school children and of course parents and carers to join us to have fun learning Mandarin.
I hope I can help your family on your Mandarin learning journey! More information about story times and classes will be developed on the site as they are planned. Please see the contact page if you would like further information or to express an interest in a story time or class.
Summary of qualifications :
BA (Aust Studies), Grad Dip Ed. (Primary and Middle School), Dip Mod Lang (Chinese and LOTE), AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology). Currently studying Grad Cert Arts, Majoring in Advanced Chinese.
am was a registered teacher (NT) (have had no need to renew registration now not working in the school system) and have an Ochre Card (working with children NT) – in the process of transferring to Blue Card. (despite the colour of the card or the state borders it all means the same thing 🙂
Time in China :
4 months volunteer work in Yantai, Shandong Province, 3 months living the Chinese way of life with my family in Kunming, Yunnan Province, 4 weeks intensive study at Xian Normal Univiersity, Shaanxi Province, and travel in Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao and Tai Shan (Shandong), Our family 10 days supporting my husband doing an Ironman Triathlon in Haikou (Hainan Dao), Exploring Guilin and Yangshuo (Guangxi), 2 weeks Exploring Nanchang (Jiangxi), 3 weeks Cycling and Exploring Lijiang, Dali, and Shaxi (Yunnan).
hi miss donna how’s aroura doing i miss you guys hope you’re having a great time sorry i forgot how to spell your names
Hi Hannah, nice to hear from you! I will email you with our Skype address and you can have a chat to Aurora and Lucas! Miss Donna
Thank you so much for your sharing, I really love it.
Leni loves Mandarin and sharing the songs. Thank you Miss Donna
Thanks Sally, glad the site is helpful to enjoy Mandarin at home! Cheers, Miss Donna
As Chinese speakers ourselves (different dialects though), we would often wonder what Mandarin words Chloe was learning at school. It would literally take us weeks of careful listening to figure it out! Now we can work on her Mandarin in tandem with you.Thanks for this great blog Miss Donna!
Hi Elisa, glad the blog is useful for you! You and Chloe are welcome to teach us a simple song in your dialect!! Cheers, Miss Donna
Hi Donna, what a wonderful tool for us parents to use at home to compliment the lessons you do at school with our kids. Love the website, love the content! Regards, Cheryl
Thanks Cheryl! Nice to hear you like the site! Cheers, Donna
Great work! Such a useful tool for me as both Tristian and Memphis often talk to me in mandarin and I have no idea what they are saying, now I will. Plus I can help them articulate the sounds a little better than they currently do. Well done Miss Donna.
Thanks Rachael. 加油 Tristian and Memphis! (Jiā yóu Tristian and Memphis / Go Tristian and Memphis!)
Miss Donna !