Daphne’s Story

Here at Mandarin Stars we have an excellent team of employees, including our lead teacher Daphne Peng. This is her story:

What’s your background and experience?

I come from Guangzhou, the biggest city in Southern China. After finishing my Law Degree, I have worked in a law firm for a couple of years before I moved to New Zealand 10 years ago. I am currently training as an early childhood teacher at the University of Canterbury and will be graduating in November. I have taught in different types of early learning centres. In addition, I have been teaching my children Chinese since they were born. Meanwhile, I have also been doing some volunteering work at my children’s school.

Why did you decide to join the Mandarin Stars team?

First of all, I was very impressed by its interactive, fun and engaging program. As an early childhood teacher, I recognise the important role that environment plays in learning a second language. Children learn more effectively and are impacted more deeply by a caring, fun and creative curriculum. I think Mandarin Stars is the right program for the children and their families who are interested in learning Mandarin as well as gaining a better understanding and experience of Chinese culture.

Furthermore, I love learning languages myself. In fact, Cantonese is my mother tongue, but Mandarin is the official language in China. Therefore, I grew up in a bilingual environment before I moved to New Zealand and I have also finished my English degree in China. After I had my girls and settled into the Kiwi culture, my family became absolutely multilingual. At the moment, I am also learning French and Thai with my children.

From my experiences, I realize that my life is enriched with knowing more than one language, so will be my children’s. Numerous studies have found that learning a second language from a very young age will benefit a child’s on-going study and life, and I recommend Mandarin Stars as a great place to kick it off. For me, it will be a fantastic opportunity to share my experiences and use my skills to help families who love Chinese language and culture.

Why do you love working with children?

The answer is simple! I am an early childhood teacher and I have a great passion for teaching young children. I have found that teaching is rewarding in a number of ways. I have been able to further develop my professional skills but also learn how to relate more clearly, and deepen my understanding of the interplay between language and culture.