Mt Clear College offers cultural insights through Confucius Classroom program

THE first Confucius Classroom in Australia is reaching beyond the school walls. 

Mt Clear College has a Confucius Classroom program, which is supported by the Chinese Government to promote Chinese language and culture in other countries. 

Two teachers, Xue Lei and Ling Yu Chen, are based at the school, assisting teachers at Mt Clear and 10 other schools in the region. 

They also offer language and cultural classes for the general public, which are free this term. 

Lei said people were often surprised by some aspects of Chinese culture.

“We have a very complicated procedure for making tea,” Lei said. 

She said the rituals of tea drinking were unfamiliar to many Australians. 

“In a tea house, you don’t speak, so there are certain gestures you use.” 

Lei said Chinese food in Australia had often been sweetened for Australian tastes, and was not made in the traditional Chinese way. 

Mt Clear College operates in partnership with its Chinese sister school and the Tian Jin Teacher Training Centre.

The school has 18 full-fee-paying international students from China, Japan and Italy. 

This year, seven Mt Clear College teachers will travel to China to train teachers there  how to teach English. 

At Mr Clear, there will be two free programs for the general public: a language class running each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm and a culture class each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm every week for the term. 

Xue Lei assists teachers at Mt Clear College and other schools in the region. Picture Lachlan Bence.

Xue Lei assists teachers at Mt Clear College and other schools in the region. Picture Lachlan Bence.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Confucius Classroom: Chinese language and culture

WHERE: Mt Clear College Language Centre, 59 Olympic Avenue

WHEN: Language classes Tuesdays 4-5pm and culture classes Wednesdays 4-5pm

ENQUIRIES AND BOOKING: Xue Lei on 5330 1500 or lei.xue.x@edumail.vic.gov.au

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