2018 Conference Workshop – Interview with Yadi Luo


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?

In the run up to the Conference, we will interview some of the leaders of these workshops for the IOE CI blog to get a better idea of what can be expected at the Conference. Our first workshop leader on the blog is Yadi Luo of St. Mary Magdalene Academy, London. Yadi has very kindly answered some questions about her Conference workshop which is titled ‘New AQA GCSE – Teaching Opinion Writing (Idea share)’.

Hello Yadi. Can you tell us a bit more about your Conference workshop, ‘New AQA GCSE – Teaching Opinion Writing (Idea share)’?

Headshot Pic.jpgLike many other Mandarin teachers, I am excited but at the same time feel a little apprehensive about the new exam frame, especially with the writing paper which is very different compared to the course-work based-exam we have been used to in past years. After studying the sample questions and the new mark scheme, I have explored and developed some ideas and tactics of teaching the writing option and would like to share with those at the Conference as well as to receive feedback and new ideas in return.

What do you hope the participants will learn from your workshop?

I would like to share my experience of teaching a series of lessons about opinion essays to a group of Year 10 pupils. During the process, I tried to shift the responsibility of learning from teacher-centred to more pupil-led, but of course with my guidance. Through some of the video clips that have been filmed in the lesson, participants can see how pupils brainstormed ideas, how they transferred the ideas from English to Chinese, how they grouped the ideas into Introduction, Main and Conclusion, and how they peer-marked each other’s work to make further progress.

What have your students found most challenging about the new GSCE specifications?

Among all the changes in the new specification, my students found the speaking and writing most difficult, and opinion writing the most challenging part of writing. We didn’t teach this type of writing until IB or Pre-U level in the past years, so it is a new experience for them.


What element of the Conference are you most looking forward to?

There are quite a few elements that make me excited about this year’s conference:
Firstly, I would like to hear a lot of feedback about my workshop for further improvement and effectiveness in teaching Mandarin writing. Secondly, the workshops on offer this year are really interesting and my team and I have already formed a plan to cover as many as possible. Last but not least is to be able to meet as many old friends as possible, to catch up, to have mind-provoking conversations about teaching and learning Mandarin, and to have fun!!

Yadi’s workshop will take place on Friday 15th 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