Chinese Language Day is an annual event observed on April 20 to celebrate the history and cultural significance of the language. The celebration aims to promote multilingualism and the beauty of the Chinese languages. The United Nations created the day in 2010 to highlight cultural diversity as well as promote the use of languages throughout the UN organization.
Chinese is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with more than 1.3 billion native speakers, or one-fifth of the world’s population. The vast majority of Chinese speakers speak Mandarin Chinese, which China adopted as the national language in 1911. Other major dialects include Cantonese, Min, Hakka, Gan, Xiang, and Wu.
Chinese is one of the oldest languages in the world, with a rich and complex history. To celebrate Chinese Language Day, here are some ways you can support this special occasion in your classroom.
Make an authentic Chinese recipe
To encourage students to embrace new cultures and cuisines, have students prepare a dish outside of class, or have them teach the class a new recipe. Students can translate recipes in Mandarin for additional practice and present in small groups for help with pronunciation. Students can also record themselves making the recipe to show to the class for an additional project or assignment.
Not sure how to find an authentic recipe? Chinese food blogs are a great way to get started!
Watch films in Mandarin
Watching videos in the target language is one of the best ways to learn a new language. It can be a fun and educational way to hear authentic accents and pronunciation of new words. Teachers can choose films that have subtitles to add a visual element to the audio, or use authentic videos that come with closed captioning.
Having trouble finding content to show or assign to your students? Take advantage of our authentic videos and Language in Action sections on vhl central! You can learn more about our Introduction to Chinese program, Journeys 启程, on our product website!
Explore the holiday through social media
Search for trending hashtags like #ChineseLanguageDay and see how others are celebrating! Not only is this a helpful way to come up with ideas for enjoying the day, it also allows you to see in real time who’s talking about the event. This can help students see the importance the day holds outside of the classroom and can help strengthen the connection between their class work and the real world.
Read also: What languages are spoken in China?