The eightArms site is the online hub for NetNZ and FarNet courses taught by Simon Edmunds including the Junior Chinese Studies course, which is aimed at year 7-8 students and delivered in coordination with homeroom teachers, the Beginners Chinese course for secondary students who are new to the Chinese language, and the Pre-NCEA Chinese course for secondary students who have already completed the Beginners Chinese course (or equivalent) and any students who intend to go on to study NCEA level Chinese in the senior school. It also hosts content for the Otago Girls' High School yr9 and yr10 Chinese classes.
Some pages on eightArms are public, while most are password protected so that students' information and work remains private and secure. Information, audio, pictures and videos on private pages will only be accessible to teachers, course administrators, students and designated student family members. If you would like access to the private pages, please Register for a new account, Login or contact the site administrator.
大家好！I'm a high school teacher based in the wonderful city of Dunedin, New Zealand. Over my teaching career I've taught a wide range of subjects in New Zealand and Chinese schools including history, social studies, media studies, ESOL, digital technology. I hope that this range brings to my Chinese classes a depth of understanding and methodology that is able to integrate the cultural aspects of learning another language as well as the technological skills needed to be a successful online learner.
I began my teaching career in 2003 working at Kaikorai Valley College - a fantastic state co-ed school in Dunedin where I was mentored by wonderful heads of departments and colleagues, and learned my trade. In 2008, my partner and I moved to Wuxi, China (a small Chinese city of only 6-7 million!) to work at an international school where I taught in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years and Diploma programmes, and acted as Middle School Coordinator. While I had previously studied Chinese at Otago University, this period is where my education into Chinese language and culture began in earnest! I studied Chinese with private tutors while working in Wuxi, till 2013, when we moved to the other side of China completely.
Dali is a tiny mountain town in the southwest of China, nestled in the Himalayan foothills and bordering on Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. While in Dali, I volunteered as a teacher for Tibetan students from impoverished backgrounds who were based nearby at their school in Shang Ri La. While living in Dali I also attended a private language school and studied my butt off! The two and a half years we lived in Dali were a wonderful time spent experiencing both the incredible natural beauty of Southwest China, and the melting pot of ethnic minority communities that live in that region which forms a genuine meeting point of different cultures.
After returning to New Zealand at the end of 2015, I worked at Kavanagh College in Dunedin, before beginning my job as a Chinese teacher Otago Girls' High School and as an online Chinese teacher with NetNZ and FarNet in 2017. As a non-native speaker of Chinese, I really do understand the unique challenges and problems faced by Kiwi students when attempting to learn the language. I continue to study Chinese, and am currently working my way towards the HSK level 5 Chinese government exam. I'm really excited to be back in New Zealand, helping Kiwi students gain a better understanding of China and Chinese culture, and also teaching them to be able to communicate with our Chinese speaking friends both here in New Zealand and in China.
Simon Edmunds @ eightArms, 2017.