Learning 15 Feb 2016

Restaurant Role Play in Chinese

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications
by Jane Sun, Lead Chinese Teacher, TK Campus -

CIS’ Chinese language programmes focus on learning the language through the language as emphasised by the Primary Years Programme (PYP). Integrating Chinese culture into language learning is one of our goals at CIS. Instead of memorising words from artificial conversations, Chinese teachers teach words and concepts within a cultural framework and a recent restaurant role play activity was a great example of this.

Grade 3 students read the storybook “What do you want to eat?”, which is part of our Head of Chinese, Ms. Huali Xiong’s, story-based curriculum. After fully digesting the story in Chinese, the students wanted to extend their learning through role play activities in their Chinese class.

While the students’ primary goal was to correctly (and politely) answer the question “What do you want to eat?”, they chose to take the concept further by writing and acting out a series of restaurant themed conversations. This provided them with an opportunity to practice how to order, inquire more about the food served, and comment about the food they were having. They also learnt how to pronounce the names of the meals in Chinese.

Students first wrote 4 different scenarios, where there were minor issues that one could easily encounter when ordering food at restaurants, for their sketches. In one scenario, the beef was not cooked well and the customer complained. The waiter then compensated the customer with an ice cream which was on the house.

As well as coming up with their own scripts in Chinese, students played the role of cooks, customers, waiters and waitresses, and conversed in everyday Chinese. They created their own opportunity to practice writing and speaking in Chinese in front of an audience and within the cultural context. Well done Grade 3s!