On Tuesday 3 December, we were excited to launch Mandarin Chinese for Primary Schools.
The event opened with keynote speeches from Katharine Carruthers, Director of the IOE Confucius Institute (CI), and from Lorraine Thomas, HSBC Education and Community Investment Senior Manager, who has been a long-standing champion of Mandarin teaching in the UK.
In the morning, eight Y4 pupils from IOE Confucius Classrooms (CC) at Rosendale School, West Dulwich, treated the audience to a great mini Mandarin lesson with lively confidence and impressively accurate pronunciation.
Some of the UK’s leading teachers of primary Mandarin Chinese then shared their hugely valuable experience and ideas: Jo Hall and Carol Austin from Greasby Infant School (CC) in the Wirral, Simone Haughey from Robin Hood Primary Academy (CC) in Birmingham, and Wang Qianyun, from the equally inspirational Mission Grove Primary School in Walthamstow.
After an excellent Chinese lunch, the group engaged in a lively discussion and exchange of ideas. James Trapp, Consultant Co-ordinator for the project, gave a lively presentation to finish the meeting, looking at the importance of and ways to include Chinese history and culture into Mandarin language teaching.
Many of the participants in the conference had travelled long distances to attend, but all seemed to feel that it had been very well worth the journey. We concluded that through the network of all schools present that Mandarin Chinese can grow and be brought into the mainstream of primary MFL (modern foreign languages).
The group looks forward to meeting again in 2014.
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