Instructional Guide for Mandarin

California's World Language Content Standards (WLCS) not only provide language educators with a list of suggested lesson topics (e.g., Animals, Families,  Travel), but also promotes a new methodology for language teaching.  This methodology moves away from translation-focused language teaching towards one aimed at building strong communication skills and cultural knowledge to allow students to effectively interact with speakers of Chinese.

In 2010 the Confucius Institute began working with teacher educators, school administrators, and language professionals from around California on a project that articulates the WLCS as they relate to Chinese language instruction.  This project is called the "Instructional Guide for Mandarin" (IGM).  Phase I of the IGM (outlined below), is an articulation of how specific Content Topics (e.g., Topic F or Topic M) span and evolve across different Proficiency Levels and across the K-12 continuum.  For each Content Topic suggested teaching resources, classroom activities, and assessments appropriate for a specific Proficiency Level are given.   The examples demonstrate how a single Content Types can may be taught to students of differing ages (elementary vs. high school), within different Program Models (Immersion vs. FLES), as well as how a WLCS-based approach to language instruction supports / reinforces California K-6 subject area standards (e.g., Math, Science, or Social Studies).

Program Model Proficiency Level & Content Area
K-12 Immersion Model Calendar, Seasons and
Weather (Topic F)
Climate (Topic F) Environmental Concerns
(Topic F)
Middle School FLES Model Leisure, Hobbies and Activities,
Songs, Toys and Games,
Sports (Topic G)



9-12 Foreign Language Model Shopping, Clothes, Colors and Sizes (Topic M) Clothing and Fashion (Topic M)

Geographically and Culturally
Appropriate Clothing (Topic M)

World Language Content Standards (English) | Chinese Traditional Characters | Chinese Simplified Characters.