An Introduction to ICBB’S Chinese Program


In line with China’s emerging progress, Mandarin (Putonghua) language has gained international importance and interest. Parents are keen to let their children learn Chinese. But it is not a popular or widely-used language in the Philippines. Even in families with Chinese roots, English and Tagalog are more commonly spoken. ICBB’S program objective is to lay the foundation and prepare the students for further Chinese studies. Emphasis will be on instilling the interest to learn and use the language with ease and fun.

The program invites students’ active participation. They will learn how to construct sentences from simple words and phrases. Advanced classes will learn to recognize simple Chinese characters, write basic strokes and words. “Pinyin” will also be introduced. The subject matters are everyday common items, correlated to what is being taught in their English classes. This enables the student to appreciate and learn the contents better. Teaching aids include pictures, CDs, videos plus songs, games and role-playing. The intended result is to enable the student to listen, speak, read and write Chinese. In addition, the program introduces the student important cultures, practices, beliefs, and history of China. All these basic concepts can prepare the student to one day better understand and embrace the Confucian teachings and universal values like courtesy, righteousness, integrity, shame and filial piety.

The traditional teaching method of rote memory and forced feeding has been debated and analyzed. Some schools focus on speaking only Chinese during the class. This method can be ineffective and inadequate for beginning learners, who have very little Chinese background to start with. Our initial approach builds on a student’s own vocabulary and spoken language while gradually introducing Chinese. Once their bilingual ability is realized and their knowledge of Chinese expands, they can be confident in initiating and conducting dialogues in Chinese. As fluency and interest increase, the ability to communicate in Chinese becomes natural. This provides an innovative, effective, and participatory way of learning a second language. We aim to accomplish this in ICBB.