Ilminster welcomes Mandarin Language Assistants

NEW LANGUAGE ASSISTANTS: Mandarin Language Assistants Bingyu Shi, Meixia Liu and Zixia Zeng received a warm welcome at Ilminster Intermediate School. A full assembly gathered to officially welcome the teachers, with principals from the participating schools present as well as student groups from each school. Te Aowera Kupenga-Tiaki from Waikirikiri School led the powhiri. Mayor Meng Foon and the Mandarin teachers responded by singing a traditional Maori song followed by one in their native tongue Mandarin. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

THREE new Mandarin language assistants (MLAs) were given a warm Kiwi welcome at Ilminster Intermediate School in Gisborne yesterday.

Zixia Zeng, Bingyu Shi and Meixia Liu have been selected by the Confucius Institute at Victoria University to come to Gisborne as part of their Chinese Language programme.

Zixia Zeng and Bingyu Shi will teach at Ilminster Intermediate, Kaiti, Waikirikiri, Te Wharau and Central Schools, while Meixia Liu will be at Gisborne Girls’ High School, Campion College and Makaraka School.

Deputy principal at Ilminster Intermediate Megan Rangiuia said she was excited to be part of the second year of the programme here and was looking forward to building on the momentum of last year.

The MLAs are all very accomplished.

Zixia Zeng majored in Chinese language and literature, and attended Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Bingyu Shi is a graduate of Xiamen University and Meixia Liu studied at Beijing University.

Students from Central School said they were happy to have a new MLA assigned to their school and spoke some basic Mandarin to Zixia Zeng such as saying hello and counting to 10.

There are 147 MLAs working across more than 400 schools throughout New Zealand.
The Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing sent 58 MLAs to New Zealand last week for an orientation week in Wellington.

Ministry of Education statistics show in 2016 more than 52,000 primary school students were being taught Chinese, 10 times as many as in 2009, when fewer than 5000 were learning Mandarin.

The MLA programme, which also started at a national level in 2009, has played a significant and positive role in this growth.

The Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington partners with Xiamen University in southern China, and the institute’s MLAs programme began in 2012, with three MLAs working in schools in Rotorua, Whakatane, Opotiki and Tauranga. It has increased steadily since that time and today has MLAs in over 144 schools across the lower North Island.

THREE new Mandarin language assistants (MLAs) were given a warm Kiwi welcome at Ilminster Intermediate School in Gisborne yesterday.

Zixia Zeng, Bingyu Shi and Meixia Liu have been selected by the Confucius Institute at Victoria University to come to Gisborne as part of their Chinese Language programme.

Zixia Zeng and Bingyu Shi will teach at Ilminster Intermediate, Kaiti, Waikirikiri, Te Wharau and Central Schools, while Meixia Liu will be at Gisborne Girls’ High School, Campion College and Makaraka School.

Deputy principal at Ilminster Intermediate Megan Rangiuia said she was excited to be part of the second year of the programme here and was looking forward to building on the momentum of last year.

The MLAs are all very accomplished.

Zixia Zeng majored in Chinese language and literature, and attended Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Bingyu Shi is a graduate of Xiamen University and Meixia Liu studied at Beijing University.

Students from Central School said they were happy to have a new MLA assigned to their school and spoke some basic Mandarin to Zixia Zeng such as saying hello and counting to 10.

There are 147 MLAs working across more than 400 schools throughout New Zealand.
The Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing sent 58 MLAs to New Zealand last week for an orientation week in Wellington.

Ministry of Education statistics show in 2016 more than 52,000 primary school students were being taught Chinese, 10 times as many as in 2009, when fewer than 5000 were learning Mandarin.

The MLA programme, which also started at a national level in 2009, has played a significant and positive role in this growth.

The Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington partners with Xiamen University in southern China, and the institute’s MLAs programme began in 2012, with three MLAs working in schools in Rotorua, Whakatane, Opotiki and Tauranga. It has increased steadily since that time and today has MLAs in over 144 schools across the lower North Island.

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