Chinese Update by fionan


									Please circulate to: headteacher – head of languages

Chinese Update summer 2008
Katharine Carruthers, National Programme Coordinator: Chinese Networks

This edition of the Chinese Update is packed full of interesting articles, reflecting the growth in the teaching of Chinese and China across the curriculum in schools. The capacity of the Confucius Institute at the SSAT has been greatly enhanced with the arrival in January of 10 teachers from China to support the work of the Confucius Classroom hub schools. One of the 10 is also the Chinese Director of the SSAT Confucius Institute – Zhu Huiqing – from the middle school attached to Peking University. Huiqing is working in particular to develop hub schools in China to work with and support the Confucius Classrooms here. At the time of writing, I was honoured recently to attend the annual cultural performance competition of the UK Federation of Chinese Schools (UKFCS). UKFCS is a federation of supplementary schools teaching Chinese. UKFCS and SSAT are working together to ensure that students studying Chinese from mainstream schools and supplementary schools can exchange activities and ideas. This is an excellent time to introduce Chinese into the curriculum at your school; there should be more developments on teaching materials, teacher training and accreditation to announce by the autumn. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the 2008 Chinese conference at Kingsford Community School and Language College on 20/21 June. Please see the back cover for booking details. Katharine Carruthers

A far exchange of ideas

Dereham Neatherd High School in Norfolk is part of a county-wide partnership with the Xuhui district of Shanghai in China. The link has enabled teachers and students from the two countries to experience, and start to understand, each others’ ideas, cultures and teaching thanks to several cross-curricular initiatives. International Coordinator Sara French explains.
One of our aims on becoming a language college in 2006 was to

enable our students to develop an understanding of Chinese culture. Our contact with Nanyang Middle School in Shanghai began as a formal partnership back in 2003. In May 2007, two of our staff were given the opportunity to teach English at Nanyang. They spent two weeks with staff and students in Shanghai, exchanging ideas on teaching and learning. They observed English, geography and mathematics lessons and talked to students about their school in
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CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

A far exchange of ideas
continued from page 1
they ran a fascinating workshop in a music lesson. Students learnt the traditions and significance of the opera and by the end were all able to sing a whole song in Chinese! The Chinese teachers showed us how to make masks (for the opera), to tie Chinese knots, to make pictures by paper cutting and to write some words in calligraphy. We are currently bidding for British Council funding to support this arts link and enable a student exchange next year. More recently, to further promote our Chinese partner school link in all curriculum areas, we have promoted and celebrated the Chinese New Year. The day was planned by the school’s Global Action Group led by Louise Carey, one of the members of staff who visited Shanghai last summer. Each curriculum area dedicated a part of the lesson to promoting China. Examples included: •	 Chinese	poetry	in	an	English lesson •	 An	introduction	to	the Terracotta Army in history •	 An	introduction	to	the geography of China •	 Cooking	a	Chinese	dish	in	food	 technology •	 Looking	at	differences	between	 Chinese and English music •	 Making	bricks	and	building	a mini wall of China in science. The canteen even got involved and put on a special Chinese menu, which students were encouraged to eat with chopsticks provided by a local Chinese restaurant. Students attended in non-uniform, wearing orange, yellow and red clothes and the money raised from this went to the World Wildlife Fund’s campaign for the protection of pandas. We are always interested to hear from any other schools which have embarked on this kind of project, and are happy to share our ideas further. Contact staff at Dereham Neatherd High School via the website: Find out more about the link by reading the school’s China blog:

Norfolk, even giving them a virtual tour. The English department in Nanyang School was keen to develop their teaching away from the traditional rote-learning method they are accustomed to. Our colleagues returned from the visit with a brief to encourage links and collaboration between the two schools, and a joint curriculum project was established between both art departments. In July 2007, four teachers from Shanghai visited Norfolk. Two of these teachers spent the last week of term with our cluster of schools. During these four days Cheng Tingting and Sun Li observed and taught lessons and ran an after-school workshop for staff from all three schools on various typical and traditional Chinese arts and crafts. The two Chinese teachers spent two days at Neatherd High School, where they met with teachers and participated in various lessons. During an MFL lesson they taught a year 7 class some Mandarin, including a little calligraphy. As one of the staff was an operatic expert,

New Edexcel GCSE in Chinese
Teaching of Edexcel’s new GCSE in Chinese will begin from September 2009. The qualification will feature more accessible question formats, controlled writing and speaking assessments and a choice of foundation or higher tier reading and listening papers. There will also be two-skill short courses available (e.g. assessing only listening and speaking). Edexcel is pleased to have consulted and involved SSAT in the development of this exciting new qualification.


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

Networking at the Confucius Institute World Forum
On a cold December morning with the wind whipping in from Siberia, SSAT Confucius Institute Director, Katharine Carruthers and Project Officer, Alex Strugnell arrived in Beijing to represent our Confucius Institute and Confucius Classrooms at the second Confucius Institute World Forum.
For Alex, who has been working with the Chinese Networks team for nearly a year now, this was his first trip to China, a trip which enabled him to gain valuable experience of working in the country. 210 Confucius Institutes were present from 64 different countries, so it was certainly a tremendous networking opportunity and a chance to share ideas and feel part of what is a growing enthusiasm globally for the study of Chinese. Most of the other Confucius Institutes around the world operate through universities, so the SSAT schools-based Confucius Institute seems unique, with only a Confucius Institute in Chicago doing something similar, but just for schools in the city of Chicago. This being the case, there was lots of interest from other Confucius Institutes in the SSAT Confucius Institute’s work to develop Chinese in schools and the role of the Confucius Classrooms as an integral part of it. The first two days of the conference consisted of large plenary sessions in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square with a chance to meet with the state councillor responsible for Confucius Institutes, Mme Chen Zhili, and the Chinese Education Minister, Mr Zhou Ji. There was a Confucius Institute exhibition, where we had a stand, and an enormous welcoming banquet. After the protocol, it was time to get down to the details of running Confucius Institutes with workshops led by different CI directors; it was encouraging to note that our workshop was scheduled on the first day! There was also a banquet for us held by Peking University and the middle school attached to Peking University, our Chinese partners. Alex had to make his first speech at a Chinese banquet, while Katharine had to go off to appear on Chinese TV to talk about our Confucius Institute on a programme called Dialogue – a talk show with the presenter being billed as the Chinese Jeremy Paxman. This sounded daunting, but in the event, Mr Yang Rui did not ask too many difficult questions and once Katharine had got over the initial shock of the makeup artist suggesting a haircut before going on TV, the programme went well and certainly widened our exposure in China. It was an invaluable experience for the SSAT Confucius Institute to be able to take part in this event. It was clear that the work of our Confucius Institute and Confucius Classrooms is held in high esteem by Hanban and that there is every encouragement to develop this work together further. To that end, we are delighted to welcome the SSAT Confucius Institute Chinese Director, Ms Zhu Huiqing from the middle school attached to Peking University and nine other teachers from Hanban to support our work in the Confucius Classrooms.


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

Helping your students revise f writing paper – Can we have your ideas
With this year’s Chinese GCSE examination approaching, Lisa Wang of the North West Confucius Classroom at Calday Grange Grammar School provides some advice on how to prepare students for the writing paper – perhaps the most challenging of the four skills in Chinese.
The paper consists of four questions, which are detailed in her article. Have a look at the questions and Lisa’s ideas for preparation with students. We would like to collect your ideas for writing revision too. Please send them to All ideas will be collated and posted on the Chinese Networks website for everyone to use. 2. It doesn’t really matter whether each blank is filled with one character or a phrase, as long as it makes sense.

Question 3 (20 marks)
Write a short text of 30 characters, e.g. a note, message, postcard, invitation…

Revision tips
1. Ask students to pay attention to the format of writing a note, letter etc: beginning, body, ending (name and date at the end). 2. Stress the importance of topic sentences or introductory/summary sentences. For example, after writing the beginning, e.g. ‘小明:你好!’ it would be good to continue the main body of writing with a topic sentence ‘我现在正在北京旅游。’, which clearly leads to further details specified in the four bullet points, rather than going straight into ‘我住在丽丽家。’ 3. Read the question and the bullet points carefully and double check that all the points are covered in the finished writing: remember these wh- words: what, who, where, when, which, why and how.

Question 1 (5 marks)
Write out a short list of topic-based vocabulary, e.g. sport, food, what is in your school bag, school subjects…

Revision tips
1. Ask/help students to prepare lists of 5-10 words for different topics/sub-topics based on GCSE minimum core vocabulary. 2. Those more able students can extend each list to cover as many words as they know.

Possible questions for practice:
1. Leave a message after having been to someone’s house to find he/she was not in. 2. Write an invitation to invite your friend to your birthday party, etc. 3. Write a note to explain to a teacher why you couldn’t finish your homework on time. 4. Write a postcard to your parents when you are on a trip abroad. 5. Leave a note for your mum to tell her you are going out this evening. 6. Write an email to your pen pal to arrange your first meeting.

Question 2 (10 marks)
Using given prompts (e.g. pictures) to fill in blanks

Revision tips
1. Ensure students understand that they should read through the page first in order to get an idea about what topic the question involves.

Question 4 (20 marks)
Write a longer text of 100 characters. It may cover the same topics as the previous question but students need to expand it in question 4 and write


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

for the GCSE
too please!
in more detail/cover more information to produce a longer text.

Challenge and opportunity
A message from Zhu Huiqing, Chinese Confucius Institute Director
Our group of 10 mandarin teachers from Hanban, (the Chinese Language Council of International) arrived in London on 27 January 2008. We received a very warm welcome from SSAT Confucius Institute and the Confucius Classrooms in which we are now working. The SSAT Confucius Institute and the head of chinese from the Confucius Classrooms arranged a series of helpful and meaningful sessions for us as part of our induction programme. We also had the chance to visit famous spots in London. We all enjoyed this two-day programme very much. After this, we left London for our different schools, accompanied by teachers from our host schools and since then we have started our work in each Confucius Classroom. It will be a challenging year for all of us, and we will try our best to work hard to help each Confucius Classroom to expand and further develop Mandarin teaching in their area of England. It is also a very good opportunity for us to improve our international outlook and achieve a more global sense of cooperation.
Thanks to our colleagues at SSAT, our host schools and all the heads of Chinese in the Confucius Classrooms.t Marcus Reoch by emailing:

Revision tips
1. In addition to the tips for question 3, it is important to stress the importance of trying to use discourse connectors/ conjunctions in writing for question 4. 2. Give students plenty of practice to improve their writing by using conjunctions correctly. 3. Remember to apply writing techniques, such as paragraphs, topic sentences, start/main body/ending etc. 4. Again double check that all the bullet points are covered and correct tenses are used.

Possible questions for practice:
1. Write about a trip to China, France, Scotland, etc. 2. Write about people and pets – could be your favourite person, best friend, etc. 3. Write about places, e.g. your home, school, hometown, etc. 4. Write about festivals or special days, e.g. birthday, sports day, Christmas party, Chinese New Year celebration, Chinese speaking competition, etc. 5. Write about your work experience (past tense) or future plan (future tense). In my experience, an effective way to prepare students for the last two writing questions is by practising using the same topic, e.g. a trip to China. In question 3, it will be enough to respond to all the bullet points with one sentence on each point, whereas in question 4, students need to expand their writing relevantly around each point, taking care not to wander! I think that vocabulary lists, which the students will have prepared for different topics/subtopics as mentioned at the beginning of this note, are a good way of improving their performance in all four of the writing papers.


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

Our lives in Liverpool
Chinese language teachers Lu Yongming and Zhang Zhen arrived at Calday Grange Grammar School from China in January. Here Lu Yongming shares some of their experiences so far.
I am impressed by the considerate welcome given to foreign teachers at Calday. As soon as I set foot on the campus, I noticed the Chinese flag flying to welcome us and Chinese food had been prepared for us in the canteen. We were indeed very touched by all the arrangements that had been made for us and this helped us quickly get over the hurdles of living in a foreign country and get fully immersed in our teaching work. We have been involved in all kinds of cultural and teaching tasks since we arrived. On 30 January, together with a few visiting German students, we visited Liverpool Football Club and watched a football game. Though I am not a football fan, I was excited to watch the match on the spot. Liverpool city has a long history about football and it is a good opportunity for me to learn more about football while living here. In the first week of February, Carol Austin, head of modern foreign languages, took a Spanish teacher from Colombia and us to visit Liverpool harbour and aquarium. In the evening we were treated to an authentic and delicious English dinner. We also started our week-long lesson observations in an effort to understand English students, English classroom management and teaching methods. We mainly observed how Mandarin Chinese was taught. We also have had the opportunity to observe lessons on history, geography, mathematics, English, literature, art, design and technology. I feel I have learnt a lot about classroom management, pace of teaching and students management. The following week we went to visit Greesby Infant School where we assisted in the Mandarin teaching and cultural activities related to Chinese Spring Festival. We then arranged a China Town trip for the Calday students. As part of celebration for Chinese Spring Festival, the local Chinese community organised lion and dragon dancing performed by mostly British people. I think the public may like such performances of Chinese culture. Zhang Zhen and I have started to teach some members of stuff at Everton Football Club as part of the agreement between Calday and Everton. We are scheduled to give Chinese lessons twice a week. We have also started to teach Chinese at Clare Mount Specialist Sports College on Wednesdays. On 23 February, we took 16 Calday students to Spring Sonata, Chinese Lantern Festival Culture Show, which was organised and performed by China Pearl at the Anfield Lighthouse. The wonderful performance won the audience over. We are now making preparations for a Chinese Business Conference for the business community and others who are interested in experiencing Chinese culture at Calday. Though we are quite busy, we feel fulfilled. This experience enriches my life and I will pass on my experience to friends in China and hope this will also help them understand the life and work of a teacher in England.

我们在嘉德中学 (Calday Grange Grammar School) 的生活 Lu Yongming
我们满怀期待,于2008年1月29 日晚上从伦敦坐火车到达利物 浦车站,学校的中文老师Lisa Wang 开车送我们到达我们住的地 方――West Kirby,开始了一段 全新的教学生活。 嘉德中学给我们的第一个印象是 对外籍教师的人性化的关怀。下 车伊始,我们就看到校园里为欢 迎我们的到来而升起的中国国 旗,食堂里还有为我们准备的中 国饭菜。我们住的flat是学校提 前为我们租的, 它是一座三层小 别墅,坐落在幽静的路边,面向 大河,背倚小山,环境优美,尤 其让我们意外的是所有的家具与 生活用品和基本的食物也已经准 备好了。学校的周全考虑消除了 我们初到异国的陌生感,让我们 非常的感动,使我们能更好地投 入到日后的工作中去。 1月30日,我们和来访的德国学生 一起参观了利物浦足球俱乐部, 我虽然不是球迷,但是近距离地 观看比赛还是让我兴奋不已。 利物浦是一座很有足球传统的城 市,看来以后我要做一名球迷, 好好享受这份独有的快乐。 2月2日,学校外语系主任 Carol Austin夫妇很热情地开车带我们 两个中文老师和另外一个来自哥 伦比亚的西班牙文老师参观了利 物浦码头和海洋博物馆,晚上我 们很荣幸地到他们家享用一顿非


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

常地道的英国风味的晚餐。 从2月4日开始,学校为我们安排 了一周的听课时间以帮助我们尽 快熟悉英国的学生,英国的课堂 管理以及教学方式。我们主要是 听中文课,同时还有如,历史, 地理,数学,英语语言、文学, 美术,设计与技术等等。我们感 觉收获很大,尤其是对如何管理 课堂,掌控教学的节奏和对学生 的管理等等。 2月7日,我们去了附近一所名 叫 Greesby Infant School的小 学, 开展了丰富的教学活动帮助 学生了解中国的文字和体验中国 的春节。 2月10日,我们组织学生到利物浦 中国城,观看了由当地华人社区 组织的“庆祝中国春节的巡游” 活动。在广场上,我看到中国式 的舞龙和舞狮,表演的多数都是 英国人,我想这种集体式的娱乐

活动英国人也应该非常喜欢吧! 从2月12日开始,根据Calday 学 校和Everton足球俱乐部达成的协 议,我们两位中文老师要每周去 Everton足球俱乐部两次进行中文 教学。 2月23日晚上,我们带着Calday学 校16名学生到了利物浦Anfield Lighthouse剧场,观看了由China Pearl 组织的名为“Spring Sonata, Chinese Lantern Festival Culture Show”的晚 会。精彩纷呈的节目让在场的观 众兴奋不已。 从2月27日开始,我们将在每周 三到Clare Mount Specialist Sports College, 开设中文课。 学校将在3月6日举办一个 名为“Chinese Business Conference”的活动,吸引利物 浦地区的相关商务人士和对中国 语言文化感兴趣的人士来学校进

行体验!目前,我们正在积极准 备中。 Calday学校领导老师的热 诚的接待和精心的照顾,让我们 体验到了家的温暖,冲淡了远离 故土的惆怅。这里的生活虽然繁 忙,但很充实,很有意义,这些 都是我人生中珍贵的体验。我将 把这里的一切告诉给我中国的朋 友,这会给他们带来许多启示。 我们在以后的生活与工作中会碰 到许许多多的困难,但是在学校 领导老师的关心支持下,我们非 常的有信心顺利完成我们的教学 任务。

Celebrating China in the West Midlands
On 8 February 2008, 85 youngsters from five West Midlands schools celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year with Aston University’s first Routes into Languages cultural day.
The year 7 and 8 students took part in a series of handson workshops looking at Chinese language, culture, traditions, arts and the new year celebrations. They also experienced a practical Tai Chi session led by professional instructor Mark Peters of the West Midlandsbased Kai Ming Association. The event was the first in a series of four themed cultural events led by Aston University this year. Future events will explore French, German and Spanish culture and traditions.

To find out more about the Routes into Languages activities in the West Midlands visit or email


CHINESE UPDATE summer 2008

NE networking day

China conference 2008
20–21 June, Kingsford Community School and Language College, Beckton, London
‘I think this annual conference is a wonderful event. It helps practising teachers with workshops and case studies together with many practical tips and ideas to take away and apply in their own school.’ 2007 conference delegate This year’s China conference takes place across an evening and a full day to give delegates more opportunities to network with Chinese teaching colleagues from across the country. As usual, there will be an exhibition, keynote speeches and practical workshop sessions led by experienced Chinese teaching practitioners, giving delegates lots of ideas to take back to the classroom and use. These range from language activities to working with partner schools, as well as cultural activities. This year’s event includes a ‘new to China’ strand, specifically designed for those schools just starting their introduction of Mandarin Chinese and China across other areas of the curriculum. Two packages will be available: Package 1: includes the conference dinner on 20 June 2008 and entry to the conference Package 2: conference only

In February 2008, Hummersknott School and Language College in Darlington hosted a Chinese networking day for the North East region. Hua Yan, Head of Chinese at the school, reports.
The day was attended by teachers, students, advisers and other professionals, all either involved or interested in the teaching and learning and development of Chinese language and culture within the school curriculum. After being welcomed by Hummersknott’s headteacher, delegates heard from a project manager at Cummins Engine Company in Darlington. He spoke of the close links his company has with China and the value of having managers with sound awareness of the Chinese language and culture. Edexcel’s Chair of Examiners for GCSE and GCE Chinese then spoke of the efforts being made to enable Chinese exam papers to be more accessible to native speakers of English. Six pupils from Frosterley Primary School, accompanied by their headteacher Mike Sharland, gave a charming illustrated presentation about a recent trip to their link school in Shanghai. Students from Hummersknott provided entertainment with a Kung Fu demonstration, Tibetan dancing, a Chinese choir and some spoken Chinese. One of Hummersknott’s former teachers conducted some interactive Chinese language learning with delegates and performed a Chinese love song. The director of the language college spoke of how the school’s links with China have enhanced learning and teaching. Hummersknott is the Confucius Classroom for the region. Chinese teachers from local schools gave presentations on Chinese culture and language, and Katherine Carruthers, SSAT’s National Programme Coordinator for Chinese Networks, talked about some of the strategies being used in Confucius Classrooms to promote Chinese. The day was successfully concluded with Chinese tea!

Look out for more details and booking instructions on the Chinese Networks website very soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact the Chinese Networks team at


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