The 2018 Annual Chinese Teaching Conference will take place in two days (Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June) and what better way to learn more about the conference than asking the people who design, organise and attend it; the IOE CI team. Each member of the IOE CI team has answered a question on a different area of this year’s conference. We thought it was a great way for you to not only get to know the team, but also to get to know all about our Annual Conference. To book your place at the conference, please click here.
IOE CI Director, Katharine: What does the theme of this year’s conference “Thinking globally, acting locally: motivating Mandarin learners around the globe” mean to you?
It means that we need to be open and interested to learn from what other countries are doing in this relatively new field of Chinese teaching in schools, but that all models and approaches need to be adapted locally for individual schools, classes and teachers. Motivation of our learners is the key to ensuring sustainability in schools and motivation comes from successful learning outcomes for all our students.
IOE CI General Manager, Matt: What do you think the Annual Conference says/promotes about the IOE CI?
In hosting this annual Chinese teaching conference, which remains the largest attended conference of its kind for Chinese teaching and learning in the UK, it confirms that the IOE CI continues to play an important role right at the heart of developing the infrastructure for teaching of the subject. Teachers of Chinese always seem to make a concerted effort to attend, with many returning year after year, which is really reassuring and is a reminder that what the IOE CI offers in terms of CPD is valued, relevant, and continues to be at the cutting edge of Chinese teaching and learning.
IOE CI National Networks Coordinator, Xiaoming: Can you tell us about the school performances that will be at this year’s conference?
Students’ performances have no doubt always been one of the highlights of our conference and this year will be no exception. The performances at the conference are usually the winners of HSBC/British Council Mandarin competition of the year. You will have an opportunity to enjoy five performances throughout two days including individual speeches as well as drama.
The titles of the performances are About Me, Foodie Alliance (吃货联盟), Chinese Styled Math, Filial Piety and The King, the Goblins and the Three Monks (大王叫我来寻山). We will guarantee that you will be awed by not only the achievement the students have made in their learning of the language but also their insightful understanding of the culture.
Come and join us to celebrate students’ excellent language skills as well as their passion for learning Mandarin.
IOE CI Teacher Training Coordinator, Philippa: Can you tell us a little bit about the primary strands at this year’s conference?
A really great aspect of our conference is the strength of the workshops for primary teaching that are submitted each year, demonstrating the really great practice happening out there. We’re delighted to welcome back some familiar faces, and also introduce some new ones.
Simone Haughey from Robin Hood School has been doing some amazing creative writing work with robots this year (https://ozobot.com/ ), which I am intrigued to find more about- the workshop will give delegates a chance to optically code a robot of their own and see how story creation can help Mandarin learning.
Cara Bleiman from the Harris Federation (and Swire Chinese Language Foundation) will be sharing the approaches she has employed this year planning for progression across the 4 schools she works with. For any primary teacher looking to develop across year groups this will provide some great ideas and inspiration.
Finally, Rhoda Pennington from Highgate Primary School (https://highgateprimarymandarin.edublogs.org/ )and Rachel Tiefenbrun from St Charles Primary and Haghill Primary in Glasgow are both looking at how meaningful game-playing in the primary classroom can form an integral part of a structured development of language, and Rachel has some wonderful video examples of her students using games to consolidate learning to demonstrate this!
IOE CI MEP Programme Coordinator, Pan Lin: In terms of the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP), what are you most excited about for this year’s conference?
I look forward very much to the conference because it is not only going to be a feast of ideas from the teaching practitioners and academics in the UK, but I also see from the programme that a lot of teachers from MEP schools are joining it and making a big contribution to the conference. The MEP is unique and special to this country and it is strengthening the Mandarin Chinese Teaching in this country. I hope the participants will find them interesting and useful. In particular, I am interested in these things:
- The posters the MEP students have created! They are excellent examples of their progress.
- The Action Research posters designed by MEP teachers and MTeach participants show how teaching practitioners can do research and improve teaching by themselves.
- The book launch on Saturday at the end of the conference, which will encourage attendees that teachers can write their own books and get published!
IOE CI MEP Project Manager, Sam: Can you tell us how the MEP has been incorporated into this year’s conference?
The MEP has been running now for two years, so it’s great to see the impact it’s having in participating schools and how this is reflected in the conference. We have a fantastic workshop running this year on the Saturday which looks at how the programme has been delivered both inside and outside the classroom at Kingsford Community School. On top of that, on Saturday we will be launching our new MEP Teacher Training videos – a series of four brilliant classroom-based films which are going to be such a useful tool for new and experienced teachers alike.
IOE CI Project Officer, Naomi: This is your twelfth conference with the IOE CI. Can you tell us how it has evolved from the first ever conference?
I attended the first conference in May 2007, as I just joined the SSAT Confucius Institute. It was held at Kingsford Community School with less than 100 teachers of Chinese and students. It was quite cosy really and we got to know each other fairly well by the end of the one and a half day conference, usually through chatting at a local Chinese restaurant. Over the years, as Mandarin Chinese grows more popular in schools, more teachers of Chinese have joined the conference and the workshop topics have become more varied and diverse. Though it is not possible for me to know every teacher who attended the conference, I have maintained good relationship with those teachers whom I have known from the early years of the conference, and I am delighted to see the growth of the interest from English students and parents towards learning Chinese language and culture.
IOE CI Project Officer, Nicola: Which conference plenary are you most looking forward to and why?
There are so many good plenaries at this year’s Conference that it is hard to pick just one. I am looking forward to ShaoLan’s talk “Why Chinese?” as I am a big fan of ShaoLan’s book Chineasy, as well as the Chineasy Tiles game, which me and some colleagues had a great time playing in a recent Chineasy workshop. I am also very much looking forward to Dr. Thomas Bak’s plenary on the “Benefits of Bilingualism”. I wrote a recent blogpost on Dr. Bak’s Conference plenary and was lucky to speak to him directly about the conference. This enabled me to find out more about his plenary as well as his research into multilingualism, which is incredibly fascinating. Finally, I am looking forward to the closing plenary on Saturday which doubles as a resources launch, as I will be introducing the new MEP Teacher Training films and discussing how they were made and when they will be available on our website.
IOE CI Project Officer, Eleanor: What element of the conference are you most looking forward to and why?
At this year’s conference I am particularly looking forward to Professor Thomas Bak’s plenary, “The Benefits of Bilingualism”. As someone who grew up bilingually and studied in a bilingual school system, it’s an area of great interest to me. I also enjoy attending workshops each year. For me, the workshops on learning strategies can often be applied to my own language learning, so I go away from the conference having learned something, even though I’m not a teacher myself.
IOE CI Project Officer, Tomoyo: This year you are responsible for organising the conference exhibition. Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from the exhibition this year?
It has been a great pleasure getting to know our exhibitors – some of them will come all the way from China! We will have a great mixture of publishers, Chinese education providers and exam bodies. Please do come along to the Jeffery Hall to meet them and find out about great Chinese teaching resources and opportunities.
IOE CI Project Officer, Irina: This is your first ever Annual Conference. From looking at the conference programme, what are you most excited about?
I am really looking forward to the conference overall and I am most excited about the following workshop “East meets West – immersive and culturally-relevant learning activities” led by Elliot Hsiao-Williams
To find out more about each team member and their role at the IOE CI, please visit our ‘Team’ webpage.
To book your place at the Conference, please click here.