Only a few days now left until our 20th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference “Developing Through Sharing” coming up this Saturday 14th October 2023.

Check out our plenaries, performances and workshops in this year’s programme.

As part of the programme, Jingjing Ruan, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Yuqi Tang, UWTSD Confucius Institute will be presenting the workshop “The way forward? Use translanguaging to teach Chinese and train future MFL teachers”. Jingjing has kindly answered some questions about the workshop. 

  1. Hi Jingjing, can you tell us a bit about your workshop?

This workshop is co-facilitated by me, a PGCE MFL Lecturer at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Yuqi, the Head of Teaching at UWTSD Confucius Institute. We will introduce translanguaging as a pedagogy and present a case of how it can be used to teach Chinese and train local teachers. We will invite participants to identify how many languages are present in their Chinese classes, when to take students’ L1s into account, and discuss how to integrate translanguaging principles into their own working contexts. Join us in this enriching experience as we explore the dynamic world of multilingualism and pedagogical innovation. This workshop will be an excellent opportunity for Chinese language teachers to network with other educators who share the same interest in translanguaging.

  1. What makes translanguaging such a useful method for MFL teacher training in the UK?

In the UK, where many MFL learners are bilingual or multilingual, translanguaging aligns with real-life language practices. Translanguaging represents a novel approach that can inspire MFL teachers to challenge traditional monolingual ideologies, the ‘target language only’ classroom mindsets, and related practices. Its goal is to allow all students to draw upon their existing collection of linguistic resources and abilities, making the MFL learning process more inclusive and accessible. We firmly believe that incorporating translanguaging into MFL teacher training can have a profoundly positive impact on language learning outcomes and student engagement. By embracing translanguaging, MFL teacher training encourages the development of multilingualism and celebrates linguistic diversity as a valuable asset rather than a barrier.

  1. What made you choose this subject for this year’s conference?

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Annual Chinese Teaching Conference, with the theme ‘Developing through Sharing.’ We see this as a great opportunity to share our experiences regarding how translanguaging can be a valuable method for Chinese teaching and MFL teacher training. As Professor Colin Baker, who coined the term, noted, it is rare for a major new concept to emerge in the field of social sciences, but translanguaging is indeed an exception. Among bi/multilingual populations, translanguaging is as natural as breathing. The choice of this topic underscores the importance of creating inclusive classrooms and promoting social justice, where all students’ translanguaging beings are not only recognised but also valued, as Professor Li Wei suggested.

  1. What should participants expect from the workshop?

Participants can expect to gain a theoretical understanding of translanguaging, its rationale, and its implications for Chinese language teaching and learning. This workshop includes hands-on activities and opportunities for participants to exchange ideas, share insights, and discuss how to adapt translanguaging techniques to their specific teaching contexts. We encourage educators to collaboratively tailor translanguaging techniques to suit the distinctive dynamics of their own student demographics. Practical strategies for implementing translanguaging in the classroom will be provided. Participants will receive resources such as handouts and access to a Padlet webpage for additional support and materials. Establishing professional connections and continued co-learning beyond this workshop are encouraged.

Many thanks Jingjing! 

We look forward to welcoming ticketholders to the workshop on Saturday 14th October 2023 at the IOE. Book your conference tickets here.