Croatian First-Graders Learn Chinese

Total Croatia News

Chinese classes are becoming more popular.

“Chinese letters and numbers are not at all difficult! It is easier for us to learn Chinese language than Croatian”, say students of the first grade of Tituš Brezovački Elementary School in Zagreb. These seven-year-olds started school two months ago and, in addition to mandatory Croatian and optional English classes, the majority decided to attend additional classes of Chinese language, taught by professor Lidija Pavlek, reports on November 13, 2016.

“Each teacher should have one extracurricular activity, so I was trying to see what would be interesting for children. There are plenty of art and drama classes, and Chinese language classes were not available in school. I have learnt it before and thought it would be nice if children would have similar possibility”, said Pavlek. The interest of students surprised her, since 17 of the 24 students in the class opted to attend classes.

“We have learned how to say numbers up to seven in Chinese, and the easiest is number five”, said Kiara Mikulčić Kralj. In addition to greetings in Chinese, she added she could also greet people in Italian.

“Every class begins with a greeting. Then I ask each one how they are feeling, and after that they introduce themselves in Chinese. It is important to repeat this every time so the language enters their ears”, explained Pavlek, adding that she also needs to repeat certain words since Chinese language is very complex. Therefore, she decided to have one class each Wednesday, instead of two classes every two weeks.

“I admit that I was a bit too ambitious at the start, and I thought they would learn letters more quickly. Although I anticipated that over the year we would learn 80 letters and characters, I think we will be able to do only half of that”, said Pavlek, adding that parents were delighted when she proposed Chinese as an extracurricular activity.

“This is my favourite subject in school, although I also love biology and social studies. I would also like to learn German and Spanish”, said first-grader Eva Duić.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment