Mandarin ab initio
Part of the IB Diploma Programme subject group 2, Language Acquisition, Mandarin ab initio is an innovative course for students with no previous formal experience of learning Mandarin. It will enable them to communicate with people from a new culture and make a success of their time spent in a part of the world where Mandarin is commonly spoken.
What is different in taking Mandarin ab initio online?
Students will have the opportunity to:
- access a structured learning environment that provides flexibility and support in equal measure
- study alongside students from around the world
- gain experience of using the latest online learning tools
- regularly communicate with teachers and fellow students
- take part in interactive and engaging lessons that allow them to learn, review and practise easily
- practise essential 21st century skills such as digital literacy, collaboration and self-organisation
Some things won’t be different though. Standards and expectations will be just as high as in a face to face classroom.
Themes covered through the course
In the language ab initio course, students develop the ability to communicate in the target language through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understandings of how language works. Communication is evidenced through receptive, productive and interactive skills across a range of contexts and purposes that are appropriate to the level of the course.
There are five prescribed themes, namely, identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation and sharing the planet.
Topics covered under each theme:
- Identities: personal attributes, personal relationships, eating and drinking and physical well- being;
- Experiences: daily routine, leisure, holidays, festivals and celebrations;
- Human ingenuity: transport, entertainment, media, and technology;
- Social organisation: neighbourhood, education, the workplace and social issues;
- Sharing the planet: climate, physical geography, the environment and global issues.
Activities and assessment
Activities include live online discussions, creating presentations, learning from videos, as well as exciting, hand-writing practice and interactive tasks. The emphasis is on learning actively together. Of course, there will be some traditional activities such as essay writing and oral practice to prepare you for the exams.
Assessment will be both formative and summative and fully in accordance with IB criteria. The IB assessment consists of two parts: external assessment and internal assessment. The external assessment assesses students’ productive and receptive skills, namely, writing, listening comprehension and reading comprehension. The internal assessment is a conversation with the course teacher based on a visual stimulus and at least on additional course theme.
Advice from our teachers
In order to succeed in Mandarin ab initio SL, we recommend students set aside five to six hours a week.
Benefits to students
Taking Mandarin ab initio online will enable students to:
- develop their receptive, productive and interactive skills
- learn with students and teachers from around the world
- function successfully in a Mandarin-speaking environment
- develop an appreciation of the cultural riches of Mandarin-speaking communities
- greatly expand their possibilities for work, entertainment and travel.
Request further information
Talk to your school's IB DP Coordinator
Register your students
How does it work?
Watch our video to find out how IB Diploma Programme students use the Pamoja Taught learning platform on a day-to-day basis throughout the duration of their two-year courses.