The John Eaton Chinese Language program was established in September 2007 as part of an exchange program sponsored by HanBan (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) and the DCPS. HanBan is an educational institution based in Bejing that prepares Chinese language teachers for international assignments. Eaton was selected as one of the DC public schools to employ a full-time Chinese teacher who has incorporated Chinese instruction into the Pre-K through 5th grade curriculum.
The John Eaton Chinese program is designed for the early stages of Chinese language proficiency. Based on National and District of Columbia Public School foreign language standards, this program emphasizes phonetics, character introduction, basic language functions, and elements of Chinese culture. The teaching and learning constantly takes place in meaningful and communicative contexts so that students graduating from the John Eaton Elementary School will be able to demonstrate the competency in these skills:
Listening: Students can understand basic greeting, counting, shopping, and topics on family, animals, food, weather, sports, countries, hobbies, and other basic words or sentences in Chinese.
Speaking: Students can use simple words, phrases, or sentences to introduce self and others, and express their likes and dislikes. They can communicate in the classroom contexts for eating in a restaurant and shopping in a market. They can have simple conversation on family, animals, food, weather, sports, and countries.
Reading: Students can recognize 100 basic characters or words (numbers, elements of the nature, color, family members, zodiac animals, food, body parts, weather, season, sports, and countries).
Writing: Students can draw any character by following the given stroke order.
Culture-Awareness: Students can recognize and identify distinctive products and celebrations of the Chinese culture. Students can make comparison between Chinese and American cultures.
Eaton’s Chinese program is based on the following outline:
Students will be able to apply and transfer the Chinese language in different situations that incorporate both American and Chinese culture.
|Unit 1||Greetings and expressions for courtesy||Role Playing: Hello, good morning/afternoon/evening, good night, good-bye, thank you, you’re welcome, sorry, no problem, please…||How Chinese greet each other; How Chinese show their politeness in different situations; Comparison what is considered courteous between the two cultures.|
|Unit 2||Numbers||Counting: People and objects with different measure words
Telephone number: telling classmates different telephone numbers
Time: Asking and answering questions on time
Date: Designing and presenting a calendar for the birthday month
Age: Asking and answering questions on age as well as birthday songs
|How Chinese celebrate their birthdays and how different Chinese spend their days. Differences between Chinese counting system and the Western counting system. Chinese abacus. How Chinese look at different numbers in many situations. Yin-yang philosophy.|
|Unit 3||Family||Project: designing and presenting a family tree||How the Chinese and Americans value the family; the policy of Chinese family plan.|
|Unit 4||My body and sports||Chinese health body exercise: Chanting Chinese rhymes and doing exercises;
Names for different kinds of sports; Chinese traditional sports such as ping-pong and shuttlecock.
|How Chinese do physical exercises for health; Chinese view on health; the principal of Qigong and Chinese medicine.
How Chinese maintain their sport traditions.
|Unit 5||Animals||Names and representations of different animals; Talking about pets; Performance for different fairy tales and folk story with animals in; design of the Chinese zodiac.||How Chinese view animals; the pet community; how different animals play different roles in Chinese culture; the culture of the dragon.|
|Unit 6||Colors||Names and representations of colors; the color of the Beijing Opera Masks; the design of a mask.||How Chinese look to color differently and what is the important role the color plays in Chinese people’s life.|
|Weather report project including the design of the weather board.||How weather affects Chinese people’s life and helps form the different seasons and festivals.|
|Unit 8||Holidays and Festivals||Celebrating different Chinese holidays: Mid-autumn Day, Spring Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival.
Getting to know other holidays.
|How Chinese celebrate their holidays and what are the original stories about these holidays. Differences and similarities with Chinese holidays.|
|Knowing the names of different food;
Practice of using chopsticks;
Cooking Chinese food: dumplings, fried noodles,…
Performance: Eating in a restaurant (by using the sentence pattern: I want…)
|What is special about Chinese food?
Comparison: Chinese and American eating habits.
|Unit 10||Be||Writing of a poem: I am…, you’re…||Chinese poetry; Differences in the use of the verb “to be” between Chinese and English|
(What’s this? How much? Too expensive, cheaper,…)
|Getting to know the Chinese currency.
Performance: shopping in different stores.
|Differences between Chinese and American shopping habits.|
|Unit 12||I like/love…
I don’t like/love…
|Performance: I like/love; I don’t like/love; Do you like/love…
Shoe-box design: like/love
|Discussing Chinese and American life styles and reason for the choice for like and dislike.|
|Unit 13||Self- introduction||Getting to know people: writing a pen-pal letter and sending it to China
Performance: making new friends
|How Chinese and Americans communicate with the rest of their world.|
|Unit 14||Chinese songs:
Hello, Ten good children, Cute little rabbit, Pulling the turnip, I’m a little caterpillar, Two tigers, Gongxi, Rainbow sister, …
|Learning and singing Chinese songs.||The story and ethic in Chinese songs; American songs translated into Chinese.|
|Unit 15||Chinese Art||Chinese music: listening to different music and getting to know Chinese traditional instruments; practice of using Kuaiban
Chinese drawing: ancient Chinese paintings and typical Chinese painting
Chinese Calligraphy: Learning about Chinese characters; practice of Chinese calligraphy
Chinese folk art: handicraft, folk music, folk songs …
|Discuss how Chinese art plays an important role in Chinese life and standards of beauty in Chinese art.|