The UCL IOE Confucius Institute 14th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference took place just over a week ago. The conference was a huge success with over 300 people in attendance and a sold out dinner. There was an additional celebratory element this year in the form of the IOE CI’s 10 year anniversary and the official opening of the refurbished UCL IOE CI building at 15 Woburn Square. To read more about the official opening of the IOE CI building, please click here. All the events came together very well, providing three days of celebration of Chinese teaching in the UK.
Day 1 of the Conference
The Conference opened with a speech from a student from Eltham College, before talks from UCL Vice Provost (International), Dame Nicola Brewer, UCL IOE Director Becky Francis and Chinese Embassy Minister-Counsellor Wang Yongli. Their speeches touched on this year’s conference theme, ‘Expanding Excellence: Raising Expectation, Increasing Fluency,’ as well as looking to future collaborations between the UK and China.
The workshops on the first day proved very popular and explored topics such as MOOCs, working with Hanban teachers, Pre U literature and student-led outreach among others. Between workshops, delegates could attend our most popular exhibition yet with a range of exhibitors from all over the world. MEP and language-focussed plenaries followed, with some excellent performances from Chobham Academy, Fortismere School and Kingsford Community School.
The first day ended on a high with the Excellence Awards being presented at a very lively and fun conference dinner.
Day 2 of the Conference
Saturday’s opening plenary, ‘Connecting through Chinese’ was a very pleasant reminder of how, every year, the IOE CI Conference brings together a range of people including Chinese teachers, academics and professionals to advance the teaching of the language. In this plenary our delegates heard about ways in which to engage young learners through Chinese literature, Scotland’s drive to connect local businesses and schools through language, opportunities for schools to engage with universities through BACS, and students to explore internship opportunities through the British Council’s Generation UK programme.
Saturday’s other plenaries included ‘Movies, Magic and Music’ which explored the use of Chinese in film, music groups and the Magic Lantern Festival. Primary Mandarin Chinese was also featured as part of Day 2’s plenaries with James Trapp introducing his new primary scheme of work, developed in conjunction with Rosendale Primary.
The workshops on Day 2 explored the theme of excellency and increasing fluency by looking at the uses of target language in the classroom and encouraging initiative among students. There were also workshops on professional development and a focus on the new GCSE specification in Mandarin Chinese, as well as creative ways to engage learners at KS2. Whatever level you are teaching, there was something for everyone, with all workshops well attended.
The Conference is not only an integral part of many people’s professional development, but also a great social network where people can receive support and friendship through their common interest of teaching Mandarin Chinese. Thank-you the IOE CI Hanban teachers and to everyone at the IOE CI who worked so hard to make the Conference a success for 2017!