‘Xin niam kuai le’ or happy new year!

Harry Coureau, Lewis Ogden, Keeley Hawes and Rosie Schofield try their hands at Chinese writing.

Harry Coureau, Lewis Ogden, Keeley Hawes and Rosie Schofield try their hands at Chinese writing.

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These youngsters are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year in style.

The schoolchildren from Anchorsholme Primary School have been learning Mandarin ready to share greetings with their classmates in Chinese during New Year celebrations next week.

The children, aged seven to 11, were inspired to learn the language and about the culture after class teacher Kara Chapman spent a month in Northern China last summer.

Ms Chapman, a Year Three teacher, said: “They’re doing really well, picking it up a lot quicker than I did. It gives them a skill for when they’re older.”

Ms Chapman went to China for a four-week language course and brought back lots of ideas to share at the Eastpines Drive school.

She added: “It was very challenging so I had to do my homework, it was amazing.

“It’s nice for the children to know what my challenges were. It was fantastic bringing resources back for them to teach something new.”

Each class enjoys one hour of Mandarin tuition and Chinese culture classes each week, led by Dr Qihai Hueng and Colette Webb from the Lancaster University Confucius Institute.

Harry Coureau, from Cleveleys, said he loves being able to speak a different language.

The eight-year-old said: “The best thing is I can go home and say ‘nihao’ to my mum but she doesn’t know what it means.” And Harry has enjoyed studying the different years of the Chinese calendar, as the country prepares to welcome the year of the snake on Saturday.

Classmate Rosie Schofield, eight, from Blackpool, said: “Our classes are really fun, we sing songs in Chinese and make lanterns.

“Miss Chapman tells us about China, I’d be excited to go there.”

The children have covered Chinese history, family life, horoscopes, artwork and opera since starting their classes last September.

The SUMYIN Chinese Group, which meets at the Claremont First Step Community Centre on Thursdays, is holding its Chinese New Year celebrations on February 12. Anyone is welcome.

A FEW CHINESE PHRASES

• Hello - Nihao

• Happy New Year - Xin niam kuai le

• Wishing you a prosperous new year - Jong xi fa cai

• How are you? - Ni hao ma?

• Goodbye - Zai jan

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