Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton Hosts the First Primary and Secondary Schools Teaching Forum|
[Source]Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton[Time]2012-07-06 11:01:06
Recently, Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton held a school forum on the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture, the first of its kind since the Institute was set up late last year. More than 30 delegates attended the forum, including head teachers and teaching supervisors from 12 primary and secondary schools as well as educational section heads in Southampton.
The purpose of this forum was to inform local primary and secondary schools of the Confucius Institute’s Chinese language teaching and cultural events and to canvass the school Heads’ opinions on the kind of support they require. It is hoped that through such communication, the Institute will be able to develop appropriate programs to meet local demands and to build a primary and secondary school network with schools which will be able to collaborate with each other and share information and resources. The Institute also hopes to serve as the core and dominant power of local Chinese language teaching.
The Forum was opened by Mark Cranshaw, the Confucius Institute’s British Executive Director, who gave a warm welcome speech to representatives and a brief introduction to the establishment and its service tenet of the Confucius Institute. Following this, the first key-note speech was delivered by Mary Higgins of the Education and Commissioning Division, Southampton City Council and the second by Professor Fu Siyi, the Confucius Institute Chinese Director. Ms. Higgins outlined the state of learning foreign languages at schools in Southampton and introduced the further development for Chinese language learning in this city. Prof. Fu gave a detailed introduction to Chinese teaching and culture programs that the Institute is able to deliver and encouraged these schools to choose the Institute’s services according to their own needs.
The second part of the Forum focused on exchange of teaching experience. Ms. Zhu Xiaoming, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at Specialist Schools and Academies Trust introduced the state of Chinese language teaching in primary and secondary schools in England, and showed delegates the series of Mandarin language teaching resources that they developed specifically for UK-based schools; Prof. Fu focused on teaching Chinese culture to school children, discussed the feasibility of Chinese culture in language teaching and probed into practical teaching problems. She demonstrated a multimedia teaching resource pack that she has developed with her team from the Confucius Institute at Cardiff University.
The afternoon session of the Forum mainly discussed how to give full play to the Institute’s edge to support the development of Chinese language teaching and cultural events in local primary and secondary schools. Special representatives Ceri James of the National Centre for Languages Wales and Adrian Ash, the East Somerset Partnership Director, gave presentations on their successful experience of collaboration with the Confucius Institute to promote foreign language teaching in local areas. Judith Munro, the only Director of Brockenhurst College Confucius Classroom also shared with delegates their experience of running the Confucius Classroom and the benefits of setting up such an initiative.
By the end of the Forum, there were five schools noting down their bookings to the Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton for Chinese programs in their feedback forms, hoping the Institute could carry out such programs in the coming Autumn term.
Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton was inaugurated on 31st October last year and started its operations in late January of this year. Over the past four months, apart from its school work of Chinese teaching for primary and secondary school students, it has been working in collaboration with the University’s Lifelong Learning Division and the Modern Foreign Languages Division to develop modules and programs for adult learners. Some Chinese courses are expected to be offered to undergraduates of the University of Southampton and adults of the community.
Contributed by Prof. Fu Siyi from the Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton
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