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Introduction

As the increasing economic power of China and the closer economic and trade relationship between the UK and China, in recent years, Chinese is becoming a kind of popular foreign language in the UK. Some kind of Chinese course is offered in nearly every British universities. In an increasing number of sencondary schools, Chinese language courses have become or are going to become part of curricula. Additionally, it is very common for some adults to learn the Chinese language or experience the Chinese culture in the Confucius Institutes (Confucius Classrooms) or similar organizations in UK. Every year, hundreds of Chinese teachers introduced by Chinese government work in British universities, elementary schools and Confucius Institutes (Confucius Classrooms). Meanwhile, there are also a lot of part-time teachers teaching Chinese in some Chinese community schools. What is more, in last ten years, Chinese teaching materials in the UK do not just rely on exporting from China or Australia and achieve a lot.

However, as a result of the lack of financial, political and professional supports for Chinese education, the shortage of qualified teachers and limited unsuitable teaching materials, Chinese teaching in UK still faces many difficulties.

In order to solve the problems in teaching Chinese in the UK, this project will firstly focus on the current status of teaching Chinese as a foreign language in Great Britain, before attempting to give some suggestions for the supports for British Chinese teachers and Chinese teaching materials publishing by British local publishers, proceeding to explore some of the difficulties of teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the UK.

The current status of teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the UK

1.In Universities
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single honours and joint honours. because it usually takes three or four years. the School of Oriental African Studies (SOAS). which was founded in 1997. The number of postgraduate students whose subject is related to Chinese language is increasing with the establishment of the Chinese research center in more British universities (Zhang G. and the financial support from the Higher Education Funding Council for Chinese courses in universities. 2010). Cambridge. only Oxford. because these courses more easily to meet the demands of students who want to learn Chinese or know more about China.X and Li Linda M.X and Li Linda M. teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the British tertiary education has developed rapidly. joint honours in Chinese is much more popular in British universities. and it is believed that the number of the seminar participants will increase continuously in the next few years (Zhang G. history and customs (ibid/op cit). They have their own support system named the British Chinese Language Teaching Society(BCLTS). BCLTS holds Chinese teaching seminars attracting more than 80 teachers from over 40 higher education institutions. 2010). At the moment.(1)Chinese Courses Due to the societal needs for the graduates with Chinese language skills. Leeds and Edinburgh offer four-year single honours Chinese and the postgraduate programs in Chinese Studies. (3)Argument 2 . There are two kinds of Chinese courses which belongs to optional courses in a degree program. such as business studies. and can include other introductions to other aspects of China. (2)Chinese teachers Most Chinese teachers teaching in British universities have a Master's degrees or a phD qualification. On the other hand.

in which hundreds of qualified and experienced teachers from Chinese middle schools are selected to work as teaching assistants in British secondary schools for a year. University of London. The chief aim of the 3 . the British Council and the HSBC Education Trust have sponsored a Chinese language assistant programme since 2001. 2008). Most secondary schools offering Chinese courses are supported by some organizations like the HSBC Global Education Trust. 3. London Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. They are sponsored and managed by the Chinese Language Council International. Usually.The Confucius Institute and the Confucius Classroom (1)Chinese course The Confucius Institute and the Confucius Classroom are two types of non-profit Chinese teaching organizations. while a Confucius Classroom is in a elementary school.T. an international educational and cultural organization managed by British government. and the British Council. a Post Graduate Certificate in Education(PGCE) in Chinese is now offered in some universities such as Goldsmiths College. and more colleges are thinking about to doing so altough the number of students of PGCE in Chinese now is still limited. a Confucius Institute is located at a local university under a co-operation agreement between it and a Chinese university. an educational sponsored program supported by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. also known as "Hanban".In secondary schools (1)Chinese courses Chinese is now available in over 400 secondary schools in England. (2)Chinese teachers In secondary schools. and the number of schools offering Chinese courses will continually keep growing (Wang L and Higgins L. There are also GCSE exams and A-Levels for those students who are interested in studying Chinese further . Because of the demand for quality Chinese teachers.2.

those at SOAS and the University of Manchester. some Confucius Institutes even satisfy the special demands. for instance. As in other the Confucius Institutes around the world. teachers in The Government Sponsored Teachers Programs in a British Confucius Institute are lecturers or professors from a Chinese universities. 4. Responsible for teaching Chinese language and organizing Chinese cultural activities.Other institutes (1)Chinese courses Other institutes. Meanwhile. Furthermore. including Chinese calligraphy. such as business. (2)Chinese teachers Teachers working for the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms are mainly from The Government Sponsered Teachers Programs and The Chinese Teaching Guest Teachers Program. some of these institutions partner with British 4 . 2008). the Chinese community schools. Kungfu and Chinese ethnic dances. Chinese traditional medicine and Chinese educational theory (Zhang G. play an important role in Chinese teaching. Chinese painting. Confucius Institutes also run some teacher training programs to improve teachers' teaching skills. and the Confucius Classroom is in elementary schools. which are superintended by the Chinese Language Council International ("Hanban").T. teachers in The Chinese Teaching Guest Teachers Program are strictly selected by "Hanban" from some Chinese provinces or cities. There are 13 Confucius Institutes and 57 Confucius Classroom in the UK now. Some Confucius Institutes. have run Chinese teaching skills training courses for local teachers who are British people working at secondary schools( Wang L and Higgins L. for example. The courses there range from language to Chinese traditional cultural skills. 2010).X and Li Linda M.Confucius Institute is to help non-native speakers to learn Chinese language or to experience Chinese culture in higher education. the most extensive network in Europe.

It means that the majority of the Chinese teachers in Great Britain are working without any professional supports. Wang and Higgins reported that even though most British Chinese teachers have bachelors or masters' degrees. In Wang and Higgins's survey. (2)Chinese teachers One problem focused by is that the majority of them lack teaching experience. Sponsored Teachers and Guest Teachers.T. while 40% of Chinese teachers had less than a year's experience(Wang L and Higgins L. A related problem is the lack of qualified teachers. there were no one with a qualification specifically in Chinese teaching(Wang L and Higgins L. 2008). What is more. there part-times can not provide enough time to help students on learning and to improve themselves on teaching. 2008). 'New Practical Chinese Reader "(Liu 2002) and "40 Lessons for 5 . Compared with full-time teachers.secondary schools or universities to run Chinese courses or organize Chinese cultural activities. in terms of the teachers selected and sent by Chinese government. Another issue is the shortage of support for teachers.T. Most of them were Chinese and working part-time as teachers with a 4-hours weekly working time average. In recent years. only 25% of them were found to have been teaching Chinese for are 5 years. "Chinese for GCSE" and "Chinese in steps" are the most popular in British schools.The current Chinese teaching materials (1)Some achievements in British local-published teaching materials There are a lot of Chinese textbooks in the UK now. such as teaching styles.teaching stratagems and organizational skills in classroom(Wang L and Higgins L. but teachers do not know much about the programs because of the lack of the Chinese teacher contacting networks. as a consequence of the educational differences between China and the UK. 3. 2008).T. language assistants. Both China and British governments try to run some Chinese teaching programs. it takes a long time for them to adapt to the classroom management and the teaching model in UK. There are few professional organizations or associations for the development Chinese teachers do except BCLTS.

6 . But most textbooks are published by either Chinese or Australian publishers.2010).M. Furthermore. most the teaching materials using in UK now are unsuitable and out of date. will have a feeling that Chinese is difficult and even impossible to speak well. the majority of textbooks ignored the learning characters of English-spoken people(prefer speaking than writing).Basic Chinese" (Chen 2002) have become popular among adult learners.X& Li L. which is so important for learners to better understand the Chinese idioms and slang( Zhang G. On the other hand. the contents of these teaching materials show little information about Chinese culture. especially the beginners.2008).T. and only few of them are published by British publishers( Wang Li& Higgins L. That is why learners do Chinese. Only little of them are exactly written for British daily life or business. (2)The problems existed in British Chinese teaching materials Although there are some achievements in British local-published teaching materials.

such 7 . For Chinese teachers working at British elementary schools. other kinds of teaching materials. For the British government. the co-operation with "hanban" and other Chinese organizations including Chinese publishers and universities should be enhanced. Except to the text books. for improving the Chinese education in the UK. first of all. the priority is to establish some professional organizations or build local contact networks. More information about Chinese teacher training programs and Chinese teacher qualifications can also be propagandized through these professionol organization regularly. However.Summary Until now. Then they can hold some Chinese teaching seminars to share their teaching experiences and resources. Teachers who are introduced from China should enjoy more conveniences on visa extension and living welfare. For British local publishers. the schools and the other relevant organizations. the current status of teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the UK is quite satisfying. with the work done by both the Chinese and British governments. there will be a lot to do in the future. and the Chinese community schools and other similar organizations should be encouraged by some tax policies. more funds should be injured into different types of schools for offering various Chinese courses.

The Chinese Language Council International(2006). 7.About Us. 5. 36:1. should also be taken a good use to attract the young people and help businessmen learn Chinese anywhere and anytime. No.The Language Learning Journal.britishcouncil.hanban.Wang L& Higgins L. the Internet.Vol. Chinese language teaching in the UK:present and future.Zhang G.htm>[Accessed 23 August 2011].Chinese Language Education in Europe: the Confucius Institutes.cn/report/pdf/2006_final.The Provision of Mandarin Chinese in the UK Secondary Schools: what’s in the way.Wang Y(2006).edu. Available at:<http://www. the Podcasts and the apps for smart phones.T(2008). Part I. References 1. should be paid more attention to exploiting.com/world/2011-06/24/c_121581703.M(2010).The Language Learning Journal.European Journal of Education. teaching charts and multimedia software. Part I.Starr D(2009).as Chinese characters cards. No.The British Council(2006). On the other hand. some advanced media.pdf>[Accessed 7 August 2011].Vol. 44.Available at:<http://www.Mandarin teaching in the UK in 2007: a brief report of teachers'and learners' views. 1.Available at:<http://www.The Trade between China and UK Is Going to Reach 100 Billion US Dollars. 8 . 8. 2009. for instance.The HSBC Global Education Trust(2011). 87-97. 4.htm>[Accessed 23 August 2011].European Journal of Education. 2. 3.The Chinese Language Council International Annual Report.org/china-aboutus. 38:1. 91-96. 44. 6.Available at:<http://news.X &Li L. About Us.Wang P(2009).riversoftheworld.org/1905>[Accessed 23 August 2011]. 1. 2009.xinhuanet.

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