2019 Conference: MFL Pedagogy and the Position of Chinese

Our 16th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, ‘Looking Back, Thinking Forward,’ will take place on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th June. IOE CI Director, Katharine Carruthers will be chairing the final plenary on Friday, ‘MFL Pedagogy and the Position of Chinese’. Katharine talks below about how the plenary will include conversations surrounding Mandarin Chinese, the wider MFL environment and MFL pedagogy.

To book your place at the Conference, please click here.

Katharine: For the final plenary on Friday 14th (only a week away now!), we shall be discussing the study of MFL in schools, and languages pedagogy. Chinese sits alongside European languages as a mainstream subject offered in an increasing number of schools, but what are the similarities and differences in pedagogy?  The 4 people joining me on the panel are:

Ian Bauckham, who chaired the MFL Pedagogy Review in 2016. The fragile state of languages in schools across the country was the starting point for this wide-ranging investigation, which made 15 recommendations aimed at reversing the decline in modern languages take-up beyond KS3.

Emma Marsden, who leads the National Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy (NCELP) based at the University of York.  The NCELP is working with schools to help more young people learn foreign languages. It is the latest in a a series of government initiatives to build a nation of confident linguists and will coordinate the work of nine leading language hub schools which are working with other schools and sharing best practice to boost the teaching of French, German and Spanish.

Stuart Williams is leading Dartford Grammar School’s Language Hub. The school is one of the nine NCELP language hub schools, but additionally has a very strong record of teaching Chinese and Japanese, and is a Mandarin Excellence Programme school.

Li Wei, UCL IOE’s Chair of Applied Linguistics,  has recently completed a British Academy funded research project into the cognitive benefits of language learning and is the 4th member of the panel.

Each panel member will give a brief overview of their work outlined above. This will then lead to a discussion about how Chinese sits alongside French, German and Spanish, but should the pedagogy differ? If so, how? How is teaching Chinese the same as teaching any other language and how is it different? This is the opportunity for your comments and input from the floor and we shall look forward to hearing your thoughts. If any of you have any questions which you would like to feed through to me to ask the panel rather than asking them from the floor, do send me an email k.carruthers@ucl.ac.uk.

We all look forward to seeing you next week.

To find out more about the 2019 Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, please visit our Conference webpage.