There are several practicable models for training teachers to deliver on the introduction of Chinese culture and language at Primary Level. One must suppose that heavy reliance will be put on the essential flexibility and inventiveness of primary school teachers. In the case of MFL however, where teachers may draw on their own educational experience, this will heavily weight the selection of language in favour of Europe, French , Spanish and German in particular. It is important, therefore, that we demonstrate how schools could consider Chinese, even without any existing knowledge pool in the staff-room.
Within the Confucius classroom network, there are already a number of schools engaging with some of their feeder primaries by providing Chinese classes on a weekly basis. This is, obviously, a very useful starting point and as many CCs as possible should be encouraged to undertake this foundation work. Anecdotal and experiential evidence indicates that such classes are hugely enjoyed by the students and greatly appreciated by the staff. They should provide a springboard for encouraging primary head-teachers to take on Mandarin as an MFL.