We are very happy to talk to Annabel Hurley from Oundle School about her workshop at this year’s Annual Chinese Conference. The 2018 Annual Teaching Conference; ‘Thinking globally, acting locally: motivating Mandarin learners around the globe’ will take place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June. There will be 30 workshops over the course of the two-day event, which will include topics on the following areas:
- Building Bilingualism and creating immersive environments
- New ideas in character teaching
- Primary Teaching (building interest in your school, age-appropriate approaches, working with your secondary school)
- Teacher-led Technology
- Motivating Learners: How do we create and maintain interest?
Annabel has answered some questions below about her workshop, ‘Authenticity: incorporating real Chinese into lessons’ and we look forward to seeing her in action at the Conference.
Hi Annabel. Can you tell us a little bit more about your Conference workshop, ‘Authenticity: incorporating real Chinese into lessons.’
Absolutely. I am going to explore ways in which we as teachers can bring real Chinese into the classroom. I am also going to look at ways of bringing Chinese culture into lessons. It is all too easy to become bogged down with drilling vocabulary, the next exam and character tests, that exploiting cultural opportunities and authentic language can sometimes fall by the wayside. China’s exotic and amazing culture is one of the main reasons that our pupils are drawn to study Chinese. It fascinates them, and I think we should try and capitalise on this curiosity to motivate them further.
What are your favourite authentic materials to use in class?
I really like using authentic Chinese websites, for example, when we are studying clothes and shopping, I use Taobao. It’s fun to give the students an imaginary budget, say ¥400, and see what they can buy. And then get them to talk/write about what they ‘bought’!
I also like YouTube or Vimeo for videos on China, as well as for Chinese music videos. The lyrics can be tricky, but there is almost always accessible language in songs.
What do you think the workshop attendees will find most interesting about your workshop?
Hopefully attendees will discover some new resources, and see that the ideas are easy to incorporate into lessons. Additionally, with the internet, real Chinese is at the touch of a button. I think variety in lessons is key, so hopefully attendees will find the activities I talk about interesting, and can find some that will engage their own pupils. It’s useful to think about how activities and materials can be adapted for different classes, so that will be something else to think about.
What do you enjoy most about attending the Conference?
I have attended for a number of years now. I really enjoy going and getting new ideas and gaining knowledge from the brilliant teachers we have in this network. I always take away lots of ideas and materials from the conference, and I make sure I use them in my teaching afterwards. I have had many valuable conversations over the years and the friends I have made have been invaluable!
Annabel’s workshop will take place on Saturday 16th June. To see the Conference programme, please click here.
To book a place at this year’s Conference, please follow the link:Conference Booking Page