Chinese


Chinese

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2017/18

19 September 2017 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. The competition also offers the chance to win a week in Beijing.

Find out more about the competition and how to apply. Entry deadline is Friday 6 October 2017.

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Former Carnoustie High pupils in dream China scholarship trip

16 September 2017 (The Courier)

For most young university freshers, leaving the nest for the first time is a daunting experience. But two former Carnoustie High pupils have taken a bigger leap than most by flying half way around the world as part of a prestigious scholarship programme.

[...] The pair are two of only 22 young people from across Scotland to be awarded a full scholarship to study Mandarin at Tianjin Foreign Studies University for the 2017/18 academic session.

They both studied the language at the school’s Confucius Classroom Hub - one of only 34 in Scotland - and were active members of the Mandarin Club.

The pair successfully interviewed for the programme after initially attending a 17-day language immersion course in Tianjin last year, organised by the university’s Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS).

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Chinese language classes

12 September 2017 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland's programme of Chinese classes for the autumn term will start 25 September 2017.

Classes on offer range from beginner to advanced levels. This autumn, in addition to our usual evening classes, we will also offer a short daytime course running 2.5 hrs per week for five weeks - Chinese for Travellers. Ideal if planning a visit to China or just as a taster course.  

Visit the website for course details and registration, or to find out about other events and opportunities offered by the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

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International teacher mentoring conference for Hanban teachers across Scotland

24 August 2017 (CISS)

On Friday 10 November, CISS will be facilitating our international teacher mentoring conference for Hanban teachers across Scotland and their mentors in Scottish schools.

Please ensure that the teacher who is mentor attends the day with their mentee as we will have a range of speakers and workshop facilitators including SCEL, GTCS, Staff Development Strathclyde and ourselves. We would like to include other teachers who are interested in mentoring as well as our Hanban teacher mentors so please contact CISS to register.

While it is essential the Hanban teacher mentor can attend, other interested teachers are welcome.

What not to do: Tips from a returning Tianjin scholar

21 August 2017 (CISS)

Having returned from her year on the scholarship programme, Maeve MacLeod shares her experiences and advice on making the most of China.

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Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

The next League of Champions competition from Vocab Express will be taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2017.

It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students. Free spaces are still currently available!

Visit the website for more information and to register your school.

Teachers can also sign up for guest access to a free trial of the Vocab Express platform using their school or academic e-mail address.

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Beyond the Panda programme for schools

15 August 2017 (RZSS)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Beyond the Panda programme has been further revised and contains some new materials, in particular the new P1-P3 panda boxes. 

The programme now has two main parts:

  1. China Mobile Library - loan of the panda boxes followed by an expert visit
  2. Outreach workshops - Education Officer led workshops

See the attached brochure for full details of the Beyond the Panda programme. 

There's also an opportunity for schools to book a Beyond the Panda special event at Edinburgh Zoo during 'The Giant Lanterns of China' installation between December 2017 and February 2018. The session will include whole class interactive activities and Mandarin language games. See more information and how to book on The Giant Lanterns of China brochure attached.

You can also visit the website for more information about the RZSS and its activities.

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Braehead Primary School Stirling - Getting to grips with languages!

15 August 2017 (SCILT/CISS/Braehead PS)

The children of Braehead Primary have been making languages come alive through a collaborative project with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) at Stirling Castle. This project saw P5 pupils working in groups on a number of different tasks. The end result was a virtual tour of Stirling Castle in Chinese, signage in Chinese, language training for castle tour guides and maps of the castle in Chinese. Learners' literacy skills benefited from the project, and their understanding about the world of work increased.

You can see the film in Chinese, set within the castle walls, on the school’s YouTube channel. The film will be entered for the British Film Festival awards in London in October.

The project had a positive impact on the wider school community.  The school has recently launched a Chinese character challenge. This is a whole-school competition where one character a week is introduced on their interactive wall in the dining hall – highly visible to all. At the end of term, pupils and teachers will take part in a quiz based on these characters with Chinese-themed prizes up for the taking! Pupils continue to produce language podcasts in Chinese and other languages. The podcasts can be accessed via the Braehead Primary Languages Café on the school’s website.

There are six classes at Braehead learning Chinese as L3 from P4 to P6. The P5s are the trailblazers and have been learning the language for nearly two years.

Read the full case study of the project for replicable ideas for your own school context to support partnership working and help your school deliver on Developing the Young Workforce.


photo of Braehead PS Stirling Castle project wall displayBraehead PS What I have learnt wall display

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Which language should we teach in school?

2 August 2017 (MEITS blog)

Increasing motivation for language learning in UK schools and encouraging children to maintain their languages study past the point at which they have the chance to stop is an ongoing challenge. One important question here is: to what extent are success and motivation linked to the particular language pupils study?

The myth of the monolingual Brit, who refuses to speak foreign languages, has been supplemented in recent years by the narrative that we are not only unwilling, but also unable to speak foreign languages. For example, the 2012 European Survey on Language Competences, which sought to provide comparable data on standards of achievement in 15-year old learners across 16 participating countries, showed pupils in England languishing at the bottom of the table, where the learning of the first foreign language (French) was concerned.

The figures, however, tell a slightly different story when we consider the learning of the second foreign language. For example, Sweden, which had topped the charts for English proficiency, languished at the bottom when it came to the learning of the second foreign language (Spanish); learners in English secondary schools who were studying German as a second language did better.

Leaving aside the difficulty of providing robust data from such surveys, this study provides support for the idea that the language learned really does matter. Motivation for English learning is so strong in most parts of the world that for many learners it is now a life skill as much as a foreign language. Motivation for studying the second and third foreign languages, however, can be as difficult to achieve in other parts of the world as it is for the first in our own setting.

In Europe and the rest of the world English’s position as the foreign language of choice remains unassailable. For example, the 2017 Eurodice Report, which provides key data on teaching languages at school in Europe, reports that in 2014 virtually all EU students (97.3 %) studied English during the entire period of lower secondary education. After that came French (33.7 %), German (23.1 %) and Spanish (19.1 %), with other languages rarely studied.

The question of which language should we teach our learners in England remains a source of debate.

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Bonnyrigg school establishes links with China

21 July 2017 (Midlothian Advertiser)

It’s been a very busy time for Hawthornden Primary School.

Following their successful school show ‘Hairspray’, Hawthornden pupils have excelled themselves again by performing at the launch of the Confucius Primary Hub.

The audience was entertained by P7s performing a Dragon Dance, a Fan Dance and Looking for a Friend. P6s performed a colours song in Mandarin. P3 pupils, who attend Mandarin classes at the Children’s University at Queen Margaret, amazed everyone by reading and translating a Mandarin story. Chinese colleagues praised their accents and pronunciation.

S4 Lasswade High School pupils also performed a dance to show primary pupils how Mandarin can be continued in high school.

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A traffic-light system to drive pupils towards learning Chinese

7 July 2017 (TESS)

Forgive me if I get straight to the point, but I know time is sparse for teachers and this message is important. There are five key reasons that every child should learn Mandarin Chinese. And they are as follows:
  1. China is one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures, with more than 5,000 years of history and the world’s longest continuous writing system. Learning Mandarin Chinese will open the door to a wealth of literature, poetry and art and gives students a unique insight into a fascinating culture.
  2. China is also the most populous nation in the world and Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than one billion people. In many countries, Mandarin Chinese is becoming the most popular foreign language and it is likely to become Asia’s future lingua franca. Speaking Mandarin will create opportunities for work and travel throughout Asia – and beyond.
  3. Almost a quarter of internet usage is conducted in Chinese, while China’s economy is the second largest in the world. Proficiency in Mandarin Chinese is hugely beneficial for a career in business or the diplomatic service, and it is now one of the priority languages for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  4. Learning Mandarin Chinese is mentally stimulating and challenging; research has shown that while English speakers only use the left temporal lobe, speakers of Mandarin use both left and right. One advantage of this increased brain activity is that Mandarin speakers are more likely to have perfect pitch. In addition, learning to write characters can help with motor skills and visual recognition.
  5. The unique challenges of learning Chinese engage and motivate learners who might not be your “typical linguists”: mathematicians enjoy the logicality of the language; artistic children may enjoy “drawing” characters; musical children can distinguish and recall the tones more easily; children who struggle with dyslexia find relief in not having to learn another set of spelling and phonology rules.
That’s all very well, you might claim, but the school timetable is crowded and integrating a new subject area would take up that time we don’t have.

To counter this line of argument, I offer you a traffic light of options to ensure every child in your school can learn Mandarin.

Read the full article in TESS online, 7 July 2017 (subscription required).

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SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

The following documents will be available for all National 5 Modern Languages courses by the afternoon of Friday 23 June:
  • Coursework assessment task - assignment (writing)
  • Coursework assessment task - performance (talking)
  • Course support notes
The course support notes will be added to the National 5 course specification as an appendix. The course specification will then be updated to version 2.0 and the date will change to June 2017, but there is no further change to the content of this document.

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Chinese intensive courses

22 June 2017 (Heriot-Watt University)

The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is holding two Chinese summer courses in July.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about the course and to book your place:
  • Intensive beginners 1 (10-14 July 2017) - for complete beginners with little or no knowledge of Chinese
  • Intensive beginners 2 (17-22 July 2017) - for those who have either completed Intensive beginners 1 or have equivalent knowledge of the Chinese language

New earpiece translates foreign languages as you have a conversation

20 June 2017 (The Independent)

A new device that delivers foreign language translations directly to your ear almost instantly has just gone on sale.

The Translate One2One has been hailed as a real-world equivalent of the Babel fish, the famous fictional creature from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s powered by IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and takes between three and five seconds to complete a translation and play it to you.

It currently works across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

However, both people in a conversation need to be wearing one.

Lingmo International, the company behind it, claims the Translate One2One is clever enough to avoid common translation stumbling blocks.

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Modern Language Assistants (MLA) Projects 2016-17

15 June 2017 (SCILT / British Council)

Every year language assistants try to make languages really come alive for young people in Scotland's schools, e.g. by initiating a language exchange, participating in language competitions, or by organising immersion days. 

In this blog you can browse through the work of last year's assistants. You can search the slides either by language or by school year group. Enjoy, and we hope you will be inspired to follow in their footsteps!

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Funding available to partner with schools in China

9 June 2017 (Access China UK / Education Scotland)

Funding is available for schools to set up a successful sister school partnership with China or if you already have a sister school this can be used to re-activate the partnership. The funding is provided by Access China UK Education, which specialises in setting up and supporting schools with active relationships. The deadline to access the fund is 26 June.

Visit the website for more information.

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Are Chinese-English bilingual schools the future of primary education?

7 June 2017 (The Telegraph)

There are just two classrooms at Kensington Wade, a shiny new independent prep school opening in west London in September, and at a glance, they look the same. Colourful charts cover the walls, storybooks line the shelves, the odd toy lies around. Peer a little closer, however, and a certain difference becomes clear.

“There isn’t a word of English in here,” the headmistress, Jo Wallace, says as we pause in one of them. It’s true – the charts contain only Chinese symbols, the books are in Mandarin, and laid out are traditional oriental fans, scrolls and artwork. Even the school’s world map, which might normally have Europe at the centre of the picture, instead shows gives Asia and the Pacific the limelight.

“That’s what we mean by this being totally immersive learning,” Wallace says, “the children will switch as soon as they’re in here, and that’s how they’ll begin to think in two ways.”

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Mandarin success in Scottish schools

6 June 2017 (Spectrum Sino)

Recently-launched efforts to teach Mandarin in Scottish schools have been hailed for the interest they have created amongst children to learn more about Chinese culture, history and language.

Schools across the country have celebrated the opening of their Confucius classroom hubs.

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Related Links

Celebrating BLC success!

2 June 2017 (CISS)

Pupils from Lasswade High School were presented with certificates and a badge each on Wednesday 31 May for completing an app which they designed for young Chinese visitors to Edinburgh Castle.

The S3 pupils had researched Edinburgh Castle, making a visit before and after designing the trail (the latter visit to test it). With the support of the app company, 'Global Treasure Apps', they created a trail for young speakers of Chinese who might visit the castle. This is an age group the castle want to attract to the premises more effectively; moreover, the number of tourists from China is increasing all the time. After London, Edinburgh Castle is the second favourite spot for Chinese visitors to the UK.

The S3 pupils worked in teams and the winning team all received a phone charger from the app company.

The pupils will build on their success and most will continue with Mandarin into S4.

This is a good example of a Business Language Champions (BLC) project impacting on uptake in the Senior Phase: working together with outside partners such as Historic Environment Scotland, the app company and CISS.

Visit the BLC pages of our website for more information about the scheme and to find out how schools and businesses can get involved.

BLC participants at Lasswade High SchoolBLC presentations at Lasswade High School

Which language would ease our way in the post-Brexit world?

24 May 2017 (The Guardian)

We Brits are pretty settled in our role as monoglots. Our default tactic of “speak English slowly and loudly so others can understand you” served us well enough – and then Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, put the boot in by claiming recently that “English is losing importance.”

Is this really the case? Experts are divided.

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CISS Spring 2017 newsletter

24 May 2017 (CISS)

The Spring 2017 CISS newsletter has now been published online. It is a great showcase of all the fabulous work being done across Scotland to promote Chinese language and culture.

You can view and download the newsletter on the CISS website.

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Chinese Language Assistants grants

23 May 2017 (British Council)

The British Council and HSBC are providing up to ten grants of £3,890 to cover the costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant. Schools can apply individually, or with up to two other schools if intending to share an assistant. Apply by 31 May 2017.

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Related Links

Apply for a Chinese language assistant by 31 May

Chinese language assistants are native speakers of Mandarin who have experience of teaching overseas and can support students and teachers across the curriculum. Schools can still apply to host a language assistant for the 2017/18 academic year. Apply by 31 May 2017.

China Bridge for school leaders in the UK

23 May 2017 (British Council)

Applications are open for China Bridge, a professional development and networking opportunity in China for primary and secondary school leaders, heads of languages and heads of further education colleges in the UK.

Funded by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) and delivered by the British Council, the programme enables successful applicants to visit China to connect with Chinese schools and learn more about teaching Chinese language and culture.

Participants will receive support to help them initiate and sustain Chinese school links before, during and after the visit. Travel, accommodation and expenses in China are covered by the programme. Schools must pay for their own flights.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 on 23 June 2017. Visits will take place from 28 October – 5 November 2017.

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Young Language Learner Award - 2017

15 May 2017 (B small publishing)

The Young Language Learner Awards are back!

B small publishing are inviting children and young people to write a four-page story in a foreign language they are learning (choose from Chinese, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish) to be in with a chance of winning books worth £50.

One winner will be picked from the under 6 category and one winner from the 6 and over entries.

Visit the website for full details and to submit entries by 15 June 2017.

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Language Perfect World Championships 2017

12 May 2017 (ALL)

This year's Language Perfect World Championships take place from 15 - 25 May.

Students participate in the world's largest online languages event over 10 days with the chance to earn certificates and qualify for awards and prizes by translating between their target language and English. The competition is relevant for everyone, whatever their ability.

The first 500 schools to register will receive 50 free entries. (ALL members can register all students for free).

Find out more about the competition via the ALL webpage and the competition website.

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Update to CISS Professional Learning Menu 2016-17

11 May 2017 (CISS)

The CISS 2016-17 professional learning menu 'Making Chinese work for you' has been updated to include two new cross-sector workshops:
  • Parent/carer engagement with the learning of Mandarin
  • Coaching and mentoring for your Hanban teacher/volunteer

Visit the Professional Learning page of the CISS website to find out more and to arrange a learning event.

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Consul General Pan Xinchun Visits Fettes College

9 May 2017 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China)

On 4 May, Consul General Pan Xinchun paid a visit to Fettes College where he delivered a speech to the students and had a cordial meeting with the headmaster Michael Spens.

In his speech, Mr. Pan spoke highly of the Fettes College for its outstanding achievements in education. He indicated that well-educated students with global vision need knowledge about China. As the second largest economy, China has made huge contributions to the global development. He introduced the close links between China and Scotland by giving examples of people's daily life. Mr. Pan said, the demand in other countries for Mandarin speakers is increasing as China's cooperation with the rest of the world is deepening with a growing number of people learning Chinese language and culture. In Scotland alone, nearly 30,000 students from primary and secondary schools are learning. He encouraged the students to work hard and gain more understanding about China so as to build a bridge of friendship and cooperation between China and Scotland.

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Apply now for a fully funded Chinese Language Assistant!

28 April 2017 (British Council)

The British Council and HSBC are pleased to announce that up to ten grants of £3,890 will be offered to cover the costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant for the academic year of 2017/18.

This is a pilot scheme for UK schools in 2017/18 and is intended to support the Sustainable Development Goal “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Successful schools will have the full costs of hosting a Chinese Language Assistant covered from mid-September 2017 to the end of June 2018.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download an application form.

Application deadline: 31 May 2017.

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Biscuits galore!

20 April 2017 (CISS)

For some S2 pupils from Elgin Academy, the term began with a busy and exciting visit to Walkers Shortbread HQ in Aberlour, Moray.

The pupils have been studying Mandarin since January with the support of the Hanban teacher Sufang Wang and under the guidance of Jerome Lestienne, PT of Modern Languages. The pupils presented to members of the International team from Walkers and the HR team. The presentations reflected what they had learnt so far, which included simple greetings, some numbers (and how to express numbers with hand gestures) and explanations of what is peculiar to the Chinese language such as learning tones, characters, etc.

The presentations also incorporated advice on effective “dos and don’ts” of Chinese Business Etiquette. These were well received by the International Team, who later explained they are increasingly doing business with China. It is now one of the top ten countries with whom they deal and in the near future will be opening an office in Shanghai.

Pupils were judged on presentation skills, clarity of delivery, content, structure and language skills. (The latter were judged by members from CISS and the Hanban teacher.) The winning group were generously rewarded with a prize and all pupils left with a goodie bag.

Pupils were asked questions by the team regarding how they found learning Chinese. They replied they had found it interesting and were grateful to have the chance to learn some Chinese whilst at school.

The Director of the International Team thanked them for the useful and stimulating presentations. He highlighted the fact that future employees with such knowledge would be most welcome for the company to employ.
Walkers' staff enjoying the presentationElgin Academy pupils presenting

China visit a Scottish first for brass band

14 April 2017 (Guide and Gazette)

Carnoustie High School Brass Band will play in the People’s Republic of China following a concert they performed earlier this year in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

The concert was for the Confucius Institute for Scotland who were so impressed by their standard of playing that they set in motion a plan to have the youngsters visit China in a cultural exchange.

The institute contacted Donald Currie, headteacher at Carnoustie High School, and requested the band make the trip next year.

Carnoustie High is the Confucius Hub for Angus and the Confucius classrooms are hubs based in schools and serving the local community.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.

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Summary of SQA Course Reports for Higher and AH Modern Languages 2016

16 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.

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Chinese L3 resources

13 March 2017 (CISS)

In order to build capacity for L3 in Scottish schools throughout Scotland, CISS has focused on developing a variety of resources. The latest L3 materials can be used to support the introduction of Mandarin as the L3 by using stimulating cultural contexts, whilst carefully building in progression. They are the first of a series of L3 resources which will support non-specialist Chinese teachers – including complete beginners! – as well as specialist Chinese teachers. The resources favour a gentle progression and will help practitioners embed Chinese into their learning context. These resources can be used as stand-alone resources or in conjunction with The Happy Emperor ebooks 1-5.

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Mapping Chinese survey

9 March 2017 (SCEN)

At the meeting of Confucius Institute Directors last year, we all decided that it would be a great help if we shared information about the teaching and learning of Mandarin at all levels in Scotland. We want to map all the opportunities to learn Chinese accurately, and to share it with everyone to help with productive links between schools, colleges, universities and businesses.

We would like to invite primary and secondary school teachers to complete our online survey to help gather this data.

Visit the SCEN website for the survey link. Please complete by 31 March 2017.

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New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Katie Targett-Adams, a professional singer and harpist currently based in Hong Kong. Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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Chinese New Year comes home to roost for students

14 February 2017 (Falkirk Herald)

Pupils from all over the Falkirk area gathered at Larbert High School for a double celebration with a far Eastern flavour. The youngsters, including pupils from Graeme High School and Ladeside Primary School, marked Chinese New Year and also acknowledged Larbert High’s new status as a Falkirk Council Confucius Hub with song and dance performances, Chinese cuisine and art displays during the event.

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Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

8 February 2017 (British Council)

Modern Language Assistants bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, Heads of Languages reported improved exam results – raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more. The support of an Assistant is particularly valuable with the on-going focus on languages in the 1+2 initiative, and can particularly help to complement the development of language teaching in primary schools.

The British Council Language Assistants programme draws on over 100 years of experience with overseas education authorities to provide a trusted, high quality service.

Applications are now open! For more information visit the British Council website.

In 2016 the Erasmus+ UK National Agency awarded nearly €1.2m+ to Scotland’s schools and colleges for Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, and 70% of Scottish applications for school-only partnerships were successful. The next Erasmus+ funding deadline is 29 March. If you are planning to apply, access our tailored guidance for school-only applications and school education applications; pre-recorded videos; and telephone support sessions.

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Many Languages, One World - 2017 student essay contest

7 February 2017 (Many Languages One World)

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in collaboration with ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS) invites students, 18 years and older, who are enrolled in a full-time course of study at a college or university, to participate in the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest.

The essay should discuss global citizenship and cultural understanding, and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these and must be written in one of the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish).

Visit the Many Languages, One World website for more information about the competition and how to enter. Submission deadline is 16 March 2017.

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The made-up language with just one speaker

3 February 2017 (BBC)

When it comes to learning languages, it's often thought the Swedes are rather good at it, the Dutch brilliant, and the British, rather poor. Student, Melissa May, who is from southern England, is perhaps the exception that proves the rule. Not content with mastering many languages including German, French and Spanish, she decided to invent a completely new one, with its own unique script. It is called Skénavánns. She told James Menendez about it.

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Principal Assessor and Deputy Principal Assessor - Higher Chinese languages

23 January 2017 (SQA)

SQA is inviting applications for a Principal Assessor in Higher Chinese Languages to lead the team as well as a Deputy Principal Assessor (DPA) in Higher Chinese Languages. The DPA is a new role in a slightly altered structure which will become operational for Diet 2017. The primary role of the Deputy Principal Assessor is to support the Principal Assessor.

Details of both roles can be found by following the relevant link below to the SQA website:

Training and support will be provided for both roles.

Scottish Education Awards 2017

19 January 2017 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

There's still time to submit nominations for the Awards, so get your entries in for the Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) and Gaelic Education/Duais Foghlam Gàidhlig.awards before the closing date of 15 February 2017.

Visit the Scottish Education Award website to make your nomination.

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Pass the Panda across Scotland

19 January 2017 (RZSS)

Conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is excited to announce the official launch of its brand new ‘Panda Pass It On’ game for schools. The game, which is part of the conservation organisation’s Beyond the Panda education programme, launched at four schools in all four corners of Scotland on Tuesday 17 January: St. Patrick’s, South Ayrshire; Lasswade High, Midlothian, Portree Primary, Isle of Skye and Forehill Primary, Aberdeen.

With only four copies of the game available, the intention is for schools to keep the fun, learning resource for a week before passing it on to other schools. The panda games will hopefully make their way across Scotland, with each school logging their location through a QR code on the back of the game, which will allow RZSS to follow the games as they travel.

Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “I’m incredibly excited about the launch of the Panda Pass It On game. It is the first of its kind and is a fun way for children to learn more about China, its history, culture and language as well as their famous animals, the giant pandas. It will be really interesting to track the games as they travel to different schools.”

The game forms an introduction to the Beyond the Panda education programme, which is designed to promote cross-curricular learning, with pupils investigating and discovering more about China. The materials cover Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. This is delivered through an outreach programme with fun, interactive games led by an education officer from RZSS, or in the case of the Panda Pass It On game, by itself.

The programme is sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh with support from the Scotland China Education Network and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools at the University of Strathclyde.

For more information, please visit the RZSS Beyond the Panda website.

picture of children playing gamepicture of children playing

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CISS professional learning menu update

16 January 2017 (CISS)

The CISS CLPL menu for 2016-17 'Making Chinese work for you!' has been updated.

Visit the CISS website to view the brochure and for information on booking a professional learning session.

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SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has produced updated guidance documents on the use of past paper questions for Advanced Higher Modern Languages (Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Gaelic learners).

These can be found on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage under the 'Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions' section.

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How Mandarin can unlock our children's potential in an increasingly connected world

10 January 2017 (The Telegraph)

With over one billion speakers worldwide, the global significance of Mandarin Chinese cannot be denied. But with the continued growth of English as a lingua franca of business, travel and international relations, do we really need more young people in the UK to learn it?

The reality is that, at a time when the UK is repositioning itself on the world stage, young people across the UK need to have the knowledge and skills to unlock their potential in an increasingly connected world - and to my mind at least, there are few abilities more valuable than speaking Mandarin Chinese.

The good news is that parents across the UK seem to think so too. Research released last week as part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme highlighted that those with children aged under 18 see Mandarin Chinese as the ‘most beneficial’ non-European language for their children's future – followed by Arabic and Japanese. As well as 51 per cent of those surveyed believing that speaking Mandarin would boost their children's career prospects, 56 per cent saw it as a skill that would open their children's minds to an ‘exciting and dynamic culture’.

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Parents think Mandarin is most useful language for children, survey says

5 January 2017 (BT)

Mandarin Chinese is the most useful non-European language for children to learn, UK parents believe.

It will boost their child's career prospects, according to 51%of parents, while 56% felt it would open their children's minds to an "exciting and dynamic" culture.

Arabic and Japanese, which both picked by 14% of parents, were the other key non-European languages.

The figures were gained after 1,138 UK adults with children aged under 18 were questioned in a Populus survey commissioned by the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP).

French, Spanish and German were the top choices overall for young people in the UK to learn after being picked by 57%, 54% and 40% of parents respectively.

Read more...

Eilidh’s next year of study is full of Eastern Promise

1 January 2017 (Milngavie Herald)

Eilidh McConnell, a sixth year pupil at Douglas Academy in Milngavie, has won a scholarship to study and work in China next year.

Eilidh, who will defer her University place for a year, competed with other Scottish pupils and was interviewed in Strathclyde University for the place. The opportunity is offered by the Confucious Institute of Scotland which seeks to promote Chinese language and culture in Scotland.

Read more...

Generation UK – China Scholarship programme

14 December 2016 (British Council)

Through Generation UK, the British Council have opened up a range of opportunities in China, giving students the chance to experience the country, language and culture while gaining valuable skills for the future.

One student from the University of St Andrews shares her experience of taking part in the Generation UK - China Scholarship programme.

Read Victoria's story and find out more about the opportunities available on the British Council website.

Read more...

Report shows progress in promoting modern foreign languages in Welsh schools

14 December 2016 (Welsh Government)

The number of pupils learning Mandarin has more than doubled according to a new report on a drive to increase the use of modern foreign languages in Welsh schools (Weds 14th Dec).

In October 2015 the Welsh Government published Global Futures, a plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales and today a new report on the progress made has been published.

It comes as the Education Secretary will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Spanish Government to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the Spanish language in Wales.

The MOU builds on a range of activity being carried out in Wales by the Spanish Embassy Education Office.

Read more...

Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate 2017

12 December 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event showcasing the interpreting skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The 2017 Debates will take place on Wednesday 22 March with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. There are two Debates; one in the morning, one in the afternoon.

The Multilingual Debates are open to schools, colleges and universities and aim to stimulate interest and dialogue among young people in the international politics and social issues of the modern world whilst also setting language acquisition in a realistic context.

The topics for the 2017 Debates have just been announced and can be viewed on the YouTube video.

Visit the Heriot-Watt website for further information.

Read more...

Chinese Language Pack 2017 - Year of the Rooster

5 December 2016 (British Council)

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we enter the Year of the Rooster on January 28, 2017. This education pack for UK primary schools contains information and activities to help teachers and pupils learn more about this important spring festival and explore Chinese culture and language.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, Resources

High Fives for the Fifth SCEN Summit

5 December 2015 (SCEN)

Read an account of the Fifth SCEN China Youth Summit.

Related Files

Which languages should be taught in schools and why?

29 November 2016 (The Guardian)

The Polish prime minister Beata Szydło has called on Theresa May to introduce Polish classes for children in English schools.

It raises interesting questions about what languages we teach in schools and why. Szydło also called for more support for the 831,000 Poles living in Britain. Introducing the language could help communities feel more integrated.

In the past language choices have been for different reasons. In 2010 the government decided to train 1,000 Mandarin teachers to work in secondary schools in England due to China’s increasing influence on the global economy. Those in favour of the move said the next generation would need to understand Chinese culture and use its language.

Which languages do you think children should learn and why? Should an emphasis be put on how useful that language may be in the future? Or should the decision be made based on the needs of the local community?

Which languages have been most or least helpful to you? Which one did you enjoy learning and why? Did you grow up speaking another language at home? How would you have felt if your fellow pupils had studied it in school? Share your views with us.

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Related Links

The importance of Polish lessons in a post-Brexit world (The Guardian, 29 November 2016)

Media Release: Confucius Classroom launches in Moray

29 November 2016 (All Media Scotland)

A facility dedicated to promoting closer cultural links between school pupils in Moray and their counterparts in China was formally opened today.

The Confucius Classroom is part of a growing network of hubs – currently standing at more than 20 – being set up across Scotland to help promote Chinese language and culture in schools.

The Moray hub is based at Elgin Academy and will be resourced for children and young people from across the area to study all aspects of Chinese life.

It will also serve as a base for two teachers from China who will work closely with a total of 14 local secondary and primary schools during the current session.

The teaching posts are funded by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages at Strathclyde University where the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools is based.

Opportunities will also exist for teachers from Moray schools to undertake exchange visits to China, while pupils will also be able to take part in language immersion courses in Chinese schools.

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Metro Deaf School to make history with Chinese sign language

27 November 2016 (Star Tribune)

St. Cloud State University and the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul have joined forces to include deaf and hard-of-hearing students in a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural exchange. The Metro Deaf School has opened a “Confucius classroom” for students to learn Chinese sign language, history and culture.

Read more...

Rapping up Mandarin

18 November 2016 (TESS)

If you want to get an insight into what your YouTube-fixated, viral-hungry students are looking at online this year, you won’t go far wrong if you spend some time with a few Asian hip hop artists. Be it the viral thrust and wry wit of Indonesia’s Rich Chigga, the America-breaking ferocity of South Korea’s Keith Ape or China’s hottest new hip hop property, Higher Brothers, this is one of the year’s most dominant, and credible, trending genres.

This rise of Asian hip hop comes at a fortuitous time for London teacher Adam Moorman. While his approach to teaching Mandarin to key stage 5 students at Fortismere School in North London was not inspired by his students’ preoccupation with the new stars of rap, it certainly feeds into it: he’s getting his class to rap in Mandarin themselves.

“It’s much easier than you think,” Moorman says. “Mandarin is a monosyllabic language with a much more limited range of sounds than English. If you discount tones, there are around 400 syllables in Mandarin, compared with more than 8,000 in English. So it’s a lot harder to come up with rhymes in English than in Mandarin.”

Students are asked to create raps as preparation for their speaking exam. Guided on content by the key topics in the qualification (pollution, for example) and on complexity by the exam marking criteria, they write, practise and then perform the raps, which are recorded. Moorman explains that rap is a useful tool to get students talking for a number of reasons. First, he says that Mandarin is an inherently musical language, so it lends itself to the genre. Second, learning a language requires repetition, and keeping that engaging is tough – writing and performing a rap gives students a compelling reason to go over sentences again and again. Third, the nature of rap means that dexterity of vocabulary is rewarded – so there is an incentive to learn more phrases and be innovative with them.

“Many teachers find that, as students move through KS4-5, they become frustrated by the difficulty of constructing longer passages of speech,” Moorman explains. “Some of the fun, freshness and simplicity of language-learning at KS3 disappears.

“This approach tackles that by combining rhythm, rhymes and repetition in an enjoyable and memorable way that shifts the focus from painstaking book-based learning, but achieves the rewards of independent research, drafting and practising.”

The full article can be accessed in TESS online, 18 November 2016 (subscription required).

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Grab opportunities in this Century of Asia

16 November 2016 (The Scotsman)

Scotland’s people have, historically, been our greatest asset, making a significant impact both within the UK and abroad. The impact made overseas by Scots has been remarkable given our small population.

The Scottish Government’s own strategy incorporates “the Four Is” s as highest priorities, beginning with “Investing in our people and infrastructure in a sustainable way”. But are we doing enough to unlock the true potential of Scotland and embrace the opportunities that arise, even in a post-Brexit environment?

A critical factor for Scotland will be the ability of its companies and institutions to engage effectively with many new markets. The majority of these sit in Asia and require a special knowledge of practices and customs to ensure success. Since most companies in Scotland are SMEs this means that they need to wake up to the need to create market entry strategies and produce the right products and services to attract both investors and customers or clients.

[..] Learning starts at an early age. The Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) was founded in 2006 by Dr Judith McClure to bring together individuals, national agencies and associations keen to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture in Scottish schools.

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Language assistants risk being lost in translation

11 November 2016 (TESS)

Most schools still do not have access to a modern language assistant, new figures show, amid fears that the scheme will wither away if a key source of funding is stopped.

Native speakers of foreign languages have long come to Scotland to work in schools and help teachers to bring those subjects to life. But as local authorities cut budgets, their numbers fell as low as 72 by 2013-14.

Figures obtained by TESS show that the provisional number of modern language assistants (MLAs) has risen to 146 this year, including 23 in independent schools.

The data from British Council Scotland – which arranges for MLAs to work in the country – show increased numbers in all five languages that are part of the scheme: French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish.

But there is still some way to go to match the 278 MLAs that were working in schools in 2005-06 – the highest number since existing records began in 2003.

The picture also varies markedly around the country: 18 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have no MLAs, while Edinburgh has the most with 25, and even a small council like Angus has as many as 19.

Lucy Young, head of education at British Council Scotland, said that councils often used funding from the Scottish government’s 1+2 languages programme to recruit MLAs at an annual cost of about £10,000 per assistant.

Under the programme – being rolled out in all primary schools – pupils are expected to have knowledge of two languages other than their own by the time they reach secondary.

But this key funding is due to be stopped in 2020 – putting schools’ access to MLAs at risk.

Read the full article on TESS online, 11 November 2016 (subscription required).

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First Chinese classroom to open for Moray school pupils

4 November 2016 (Press and Journal)

School pupils in Moray will be transported from the north-east to the Far East with the opening of the region’s first Chinese classroom.

The Confucius base is scheduled to open at Elgin Academy at the end of the month with language and culture lessons for students. Two Chinese-speaking teachers will be based in the classroom, but will take lessons at five other secondary schools and eight primary schools in the region.

The initiative will also open up the opportunity for pupils and staff to take part in courses in the Asian country.

Read more...

By the numbers: the decline of specialist subjects

4 November 2016 (TESS)

Although archaeology is going to be withdrawn as an A-level option, there are other subjects that attract far fewer students.

[..] In Scotland, the lowest number of entries for a subject at Higher was for Gaelic as a foreign language, with 84, while 92 students took Urdu.

The full list of lowest entry A Levels / Highers is available in TESS online, 4 November 2016 (subscription required).

Read more...

Word Wizard 2017 - registrations now open!

4 November 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT's Word Wizard competition is returning for a fourth year and we are delighted to announce that registrations are now open!

Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition open to S1-S3 pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish. The competition provides a perfect opportunity for language teachers to address The Attainment Challenge by allowing pupils of all levels the chance to excel in language learning. Word Wizard develops skills in acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, recall and public speaking; not to mention the many literacy outcomes it addresses. This hugely motivating competition encourages links with other curricular areas and with health and wellbeing, culminating in a high profile celebration of language learning.

Visit SCILT's Word Wizard webpage to find out more about this year's competition and to register your school. 

Read more...

Europe's first ever bilingual Chinese-English school to open in London

19 October 2016 (The Independent)

The first school in Europe to teach all its students in both English and Chinese is to open in London next year.

Founders of Kensington Wade, a dual language independent prep school, say children as young as one will be taught in Chinese, and all those who attend the school will leave fluent.

Provisions for the school’s opening come amid renewed emphasis from the British government on the importance of teaching Chinese as a second language, in order to prepare future generations for the global market.

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Inverclyde Academy pupils’ modern languages day is a winner

6 October 2016 (Greenock Telegraph)

Inverclyde Academy youngsters explored other cultures as part of a day celebrating modern languages.

Third year pupils also served up coffee and cakes to their guests, who included language ambassadors from Strathclyde University and Mandarin speakers.

Principal teacher Sarah Bell invited along experts in British Sign Language, as she widened out the European day of languages.

Read more...

Generation UK – China

6 October 2016 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Scottish Government to support more students from Scottish universities to undertake internships in China through the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign. The partnership will be focused on supporting Scottish students from low-income backgrounds to gain international experience in the world’s second-largest economy.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish students to develop highly valuable knowledge and skills working in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies. The Scottish Government’s support for this programme underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce and further strengthening our growing engagement with China.”

The Generation UK – China campaign will assist the Scottish Government in delivering its International Framework and in further strengthening relations with China. It will also develop the academic achievement and employability of students and recent graduates of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

“My experience interning in Beijing was fast-paced, exciting and always engaging,” said Justine Porter, a graduate of the University of Dundee who completed a two-month internship at a law firm in Beijing through the Generation UK – China campaign last year.

Visit the British Council website for more information.

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The world's quirkiest phrases

29 September 2016 (BBC)

To celebrate International Translation Day, we asked translators from across the globe to tell us their favourite expressions. Here are 11 of the most surprising.

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Scotland strengthens links with China: top Scottish legislator

29 September 2016 (Xinhua)

The links between Scotland and the Chinese side are going from strength to strength in parliamentary, economic, cultural, and educational sectors, said a top Scottish legislator Wednesday evening.

Addressing the reception to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh, Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh reviewed the exchange of visits of top-level officials from both sides, the Chinese language mania in Scotland, the Chinese students studying in Scotland, as well as people-to-people exchanges.

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The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

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Language Immersion Days for Higher and Advanced Higher

20 September 2016 (UWS)

The Languages for All team at University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are offering language immersion classes in French, German, Mandarin or Spanish to support Higher and Advanced Higher students.

The half-day classes are designed to suit the academic needs of students who wish to enhance essential skills in language such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. These classes will prepare students for their SQA final exams.

The classes can either be held in one of the UWS campuses - Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton or Paisley. Alternatively UWS lecturers can travel to your local authority facilities.

To find out more and how to arrange a session, visit the UWS website.

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New student profiles on the SCILT website

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

New additions to our job profile section this term come from students currently undertaking courses which also allow them to develop their language skills.

Our two latest profiles come from students in the Tourism sector:

  • Amy-Jo Fairbairn, who is studying for a HND in Travel and Tourism at the City of Glasgow college.
  • Gail Leslie who, after completing her HND course in Travel and Tourism, is now embarking on a degree in Business Studies at UWS..
Whilst choosing different languages to learn, both can see the value of language skills for their future careers and personal lives.

Read their profiles and others on our website.

Read more...

CISS new staff members

9 September2016 (SCILT/CISS)

We are pleased to welcome 3 new members of staff to the CISS team!

We have recently been joined by Li Tian, who takes over as the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools Chinese Director, and Yi Zeng, teacher of Mandarin. Also joining the team is our new modern apprentice, Briony Burns.

You can find out more about our new staff members via the 'contact us' section of our website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition

8 September 2016 (British Council)

The competition, organised by HSBC and the British Council, offers a fun opportunity for secondary students to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills.

Participating students have the chance to win a week in Beijing, visiting historical sites, interacting with Chinese students and experiencing Chinese culture.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply by 7 October.

Read more...

Pupils across England start intensive lessons in Mandarin

7 September 2016 (UK Government)

A new £10 million Mandarin excellence programme will see at least 5,000 young people on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.

Hundreds of secondary school pupils in England have already begun intensive lessons in Mandarin Chinese as the first initiative of its kind is rolled out across the country.

Secondary school pupils will study Mandarin for 8 hours a week over the course of the next 4 years through the programme - a significant increase on the time pupils currently spend on the subject.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and is seen as important for young people in the UK to master in order for the country to remain globally competitive in the future.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

1 September 2016 (Vocab Express)

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

There are currently 84 free non-subscriber school places left. Visit the website for more information and to register now!

Read more...

Fresh drive for Chinese investment in Ayrshire

29 August 2016 (Carrick Today)

The drive to bring fresh investment and new jobs to South Ayrshire has been taken to an international audience from China.

South Ayrshire Council has hosted a delegation from Shanghai, in a visit which marks growing links between Scottish and Chinese cultures.

Chinese visitors currently contribute more than £100 million to the Scottish economy, with more than £530 million of goods shipped from Scotland to China in exports. China itself is the world’s largest goods exporter, reaching out to markets across the world.

[..] South Ayrshire Council has been actively working with the Confucius hub, jointly funded by the Scottish Government and Hanban Confucius Institute Headquarters, to promote Chinese language and culture in our secondary schools.

Read more...

Cultural Classes in China

25 August 2016 (Claire Smith / CISS)

For 2 weeks in July I had the opportunity to visit Beijing on a language immersion course with a group of 20 teachers from all over Scotland. We were there as guests of the Beijing Culture and Language University to learn Mandarin and experience the culture of this amazing and, at times, intense city.

Language classes were held every morning, with the focus on vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and pronunciation. As Mandarin is a tonal language it is a challenge to learn but it proved useful when exploring a city where English is not widely spoken! In the afternoon cultural activities were organised. We visited the main landmarks of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. A trip north took us to the awe-inspiring trip to summer palaceGreat Wall. On the afternoons when we weren’t sightseeing, we stayed on the university campus to learn calligraphy, tai chi and experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

This fantastic opportunity to further my knowledge of Chinese language and culture has enabled me to develop calligraphy classmy practice – in both the teaching of Mandarin and China as an interdisciplinary topic. This term, I will also run a calligraphy class, where pupils will learn an ancient skill and the story behind the Chinese characters. For my own professional development, I am continuing to learn Mandarin through books and podcasts and in December I will take the HSK 1 exam.

This experience, along with the friendships I made and strengthened, is something I will never forget. Beijing is a city like no other – a mixture of ancient architecture and modern structures, of chaos and calm, of communism and capitalism, of east and west. At times it seemed daunting, but led by Meryl, Professional Development Officer from CISS, we were in excellent hands!

group photo on head teacher trip to China 2016

SCEN Newsletter

23 August 2016 (SCEN)

The latest newsletter from SCEN is now available online. This includes dates of upcoming events for Autumn 2016.

Read more...

Business Language Champions at Broughton High School

15/08/2016 (SCILT)

Pupils at Broughton High School in Edinburgh had the opportunity to find out how languages are relevant to a career in hospitality when they visited The Balmoral Hotel.

S3 pupils attended a series of workshops to develop their understanding of the hospitality industry as well as their intercultural awareness and interview skills.

The Modern Languages Department at Broughton High School found this to be an invaluable experience for the pupils, particularly the impact of visiting a workplace.

A pupil who took part in the project said: “I learned a lot about cultural awareness and about how The Balmoral Hotel goes about things. I have learned to think more about my response to someone of a different culture.”

The visit to Harvey Nichols was part of the wider Business Language Champions project running in the school. Business Language Champions is run by SCILT and helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers.

After the initial visit, learners were tasked with developing an internal information leaflet which would support the hotel, sharing their knowledge of relevant Chinese language and culture with the hotel staff.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda

1 August 2016 (RZSS)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's 'Beyond the Panda' programme for schools has been designed to enable learners to explore a variety of topics within the overall context of giant pandas and China. The programme offers different activities to cater for primary and secondary pupils.

See the attached flyer for more information and how to get involved. Or visit the RZSS website for more information about the organisation and their work.

Read more...

Related Files

SCHOLympics competition

24 June 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLympics is a multi-disciplinary, scholarly competition that is open to all students who have access to SCHOLAR via their individual username and password. It features an extensive range of questions from the subjects that are currently available in the SCHOLAR programme, including a Mandarin listening comprehension which requires speakers or headphones, and questions from our brand new, soon to be published, English courses. The questions are set at Higher level or below.

The competition will be open between Monday 25 July until Wednesday 28 August 2016.

Visit the SCHOLAR website to find out more.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

20 June 2016 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year!

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 100 free school places available to non-subscribers.

Visit the League of Champions website to find out more and to register for one of the free school places. 

Read more...

Word Wizard Final 2016!

10 June 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the National Final of Word Wizard at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 24 May 2016. 46 learners from eight local authorities and independent schools competed in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.

Visit our Word Wizard Final 2016 webpage to read the full list of prizewinners and to see photos from the event.

Read more...

Visit China with Chinese Bridge for UK schools

6 June 2016 (British Council)

Are you interested in encouraging the teaching and learning of Mandarin in your school?

Chinese Bridge is offering an exciting opportunity for school leaders, heads of languages, and local authorities. If you want to invest in your own professional development, link with a school in China, or encourage teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in school, this Hanban funded visit could be just what you need.

Travel, accommodation and expenses in China will be covered by the programme, but schools must pay for their own flights.

Successful applicants will be offered a place on a week’s visit to China from 22- 29 October 2016 and will be invited to take part in a pre-departure briefing to prepare for the visit.

Only 60 places are available, so visit the British Council Schools Online website to find out more and make sure you apply online by 12 noon on 7 July.

Read more...

SCILT publishes new Business Language Champions case study

02 June 2016 (SCILT)

Business Language Champions helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers. A partnership between Walkers Shortbread and Elgin Academy demonstrated to S3 pupils the importance of languages in the food and drink industry, and the importance of this industry to the Scottish economy. The project demonstrated how the learning of a language can enhance their career prospects as well as developing their skills for learning, life and work.

Pupils were tasked with creating cue cards for the Walkers Shortbread International Sales Team to use on future trips to China. The cue cards had to be in Chinese. They then worked with the Chinese teacher to create the content for these cue cards, carrying out research in their own time. To conclude the project, the young people delivered presentations to support the work they had done on their cue cards directly to the International Sales Team, an impressive achievement and one which was positively acknowledged by staff at Walkers Shortbread.

Read more...

Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun Attends the Scotland-China Association Primary School Art Competition Prizegiving

1 June 2016 (Chinese Consulate General, Edinburgh)

On 27 May, the Scotland-China Association (SCA) Primary School Art Competition Prizegiving was held in the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun attended the event and presented the prize to the winners.

Consul General Pan expressed his congratulations to the winners, sayiing he was very pleased to see so many students entered the competition and created lots of excellent art works centered on China. Though they have never been to China, the works of Chinese Dragon, Giant Panda and Zodiac Monkey they created are so lively and impressive. With the development of the China-Scotland relations, Chinese language and culture become more and more popular among Scottish teenagers. So far, 5 Confucius Institutes have been established in Scotland, and more than 20,000 primary and secondary students are learning Chinese language and culture.

Read more...

CISS Spring 2016 Newsletter

27 May 2016 (CISS)

The latest edition of the CISS Newsletter has been published. It includes stories from the Hanban teachers and news from the hubs, including recent accolades and hub launches. You can read the newsletter online on the CISS website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

SCILT publishes new Business Language Champions case study

20 May 2016 (SCILT)

Business Language Champions helps schools and businesses to build exciting and sustainable partnerships to equip young people with international communication and employability skills for their future careers. A partnership between Johnstons of Elgin and Elgin Academy demonstrated to S2 pupils the importance of languages in the textile industry as well as developing employability skills within an interdisciplinary context. Learners considered marketing strategies for promoting textile goods in China and delivered a presentation to a “Dragon’s Den” judging panel.

Read more...

Internships in China

9 May 2016 (Generation UK/British Council)

Whether you’re looking to pick up an internship in accounting, architecture, engineering or just about any other industry, Generation UK-China can help provide funding for your trip and make sure you make the most of your time in China.

Companies across the world are looking to engage with China, and value employees with experience in China immensely. New industries and work opportunities in China are rising up faster than the skyscrapers that accommodate them. Developing a connection with China could be the smartest choice you can make right now.

There are two-month internships available for applicants aged 18 years and over who are currently enrolled full-time at a UK university or who have graduated from a UK university within the past year. Whilst the ability to speak Mandarin is not essential, it is recommended successful applicants learn some of the basics.

Full details of the available opportunities, funding and application process can be found on the British Council's Study, Work, Create web portal.

Read more...

Study a language at LSE this summer

25 April 2016 (LSE careers blog)

Did you know that the LSE Language Centre offers summer courses? Each year, ‘Summer Languages’ has grown to include more languages, levels and courses of different levels of intensity. You may want to consolidate the language skills you have learned during the academic year, or you may want to try learning a language as a beginner. You could even restart learning a language you were taught at school.

More information about all the courses and languages available can be found on the LSE Summer Languages website.

Read more...

Brian’s ‘staunin ma lane’ as a Chinese poem interpreter

21 April 2016 (Southern Reporter)

Borders language expert Brian Holton is launching his 16th book this evening in Melrose – unveiling a collection of Chinese poetry translated into Scots.

Staunin Ma Lane is a fairly unique specimen, in that the author translates classic Chinese poems into not only English, but also Scots as well.

In fact, Brian is listed in Wikipedia as “the only currently-publishing Chinese-Scots translator in the world”.

“One of my aims is to show Chinese poetry is not necessarily as serious as people might expect,” he says. “There are a good range of voices to be heard.”

It turns out that there are social similarities between Chinese poets of the eighth century and Scots of today, and their poems can bring to light an affinity with alcohol, loneliness and philosophical meandering.

Read more...

SQA National 5 Modern Languages Course Reports Summary

19 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have summarised the SQA National 5 Course Reports for all languages. These reports contain important information on how candidates performed in last year's exams. Teachers may find it useful to share some of the key messages of these reports with candidates in advance of this year's exams.

The summary document can be found on the Essentials for Planning in the Senior Phase section of our website.

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SCEN Letter April 2016

10 April 2016 (SCEN)

The latest news and events from the SCEN are now available in this April 2016 Letter.

Related Files

Angus and Shetland Launch their Confucius Classroom Hubs

10 March 2016 (CISS)

The Confucius Classroom Hubs have launched in Angus and Shetland. The launches coincided with Chinese New Year and the CISS Sichuan Opera theatre tour.

The Angus Confucius Classroom will be located in Carnoustie High School, and the Shetland Confucius Classroom will be hosted by Sandwick Junior High School.

Both launches were a testament to the hard work of all staff and pupils involved. You can read more about the launches on the CISS website:

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Making Themselves Heard: Chinese Sign Language & Deaf China Online

7 March 2016 (What's on Weibo)

February 21st marked the United Nations International Mother Language Day, so-named for its recognition of mother tongues across the world. It was also the day that sign language interpreter and performer Xiaoshu Alice Hu (Austria/China) called attention to the inclusion of sign languages, Chinese Sign Language in particular, in the celebration of international mother languages.

Hu, who speaks Chinese, Austrian and English sign language, posted a picture of herself holding a sign, saying: “Please don’t ignore our Deaf’s Mother Language-Chinese Sign Language!” with the hashtag #中国手语 (ChineseSignLanguage).

Spoken Chinese is commonly perceived as one of the world’s hardest languages to master. Aside from the hours spent deciphering thousands of characters, learners are also confronted with four subtly differing tones that are at first almost indistinguishable to the foreign ear. In day-to-day conversation, a perfect combination of light inflexions and stresses on each syllable can make-or-break a sentence from native fluency into complete nonsense.

With this in mind, it is rare to find discussions on what it is like to master Chinese without hearing the sounds and tones that so famously characterise it, yet for the Chinese Deaf community, this is a daily means of communication.

Read more...

How to…teach a trilingual primary curriculum

4 March 2016 (TES)

Blending English, Thai and Mandarin Chinese into a seamless experience.

(Read the full article on pages 44-45 of TES online - subscription required).

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Employ a language assistant in Scottish schools

26 February 2016 (British Council)

Employing a British Council language assistant is a unique way to broaden your students understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Language assistants are dynamic, enthusiastic native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, and are usually undergraduates or recent graduates. As we recruit language assistants directly from their home countries, their language is up-to-date, the classroom resources they provide are relevant and authentic, and they will be well placed to connect with students on their own level . Simply put, employing a language assistant provides the kind of learning experience that cannot be found elsewhere.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2016. Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply. Follow the relevant section on the webpage to find out specifically about employing a Chinese language assistant.

Read more...

Bairns enjoy access to Chinese culture

23 February 2016 (Shetland News)

A HUB providing access to the teaching of Chinese language and culture for pupils throughout Shetland was officially launched in Sandwick on Tuesday.

The event was attended by representatives of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), along with councillors, staff and pupils from ten schools throughout the islands.

There were also short performances by the Chongqing Sichuan Opera House – which also gave a free show at Mareel on Monday night – and young fiddle and accordion players from the South Mainland.

The creation of a Confucius hub in Shetland, one of 16 across Scotland and funding by the Scottish and Chinese governments, will provide resources and support to allow young people the opportunity to learn more about Chinese language and culture.

Since October, Ying Zhang has been teaching Mandarin Chinese to pupils at Sandwick and other primary and secondary schools in Shetland. Lessons include language skills as well as broader aspects of Chinese culture, such as food and music.

Ms Zhang also offers language workshops for school staff and provides a link to her home school, Tianjin 102 High School, in the Tianjin municipality in north east China.

Read more...

Related Links

Interview on Radio Shetland (BBC Radio Shetland, 22 February 2016) - Fan Lin (CISS) talks about performances by the Chongqing Sichuan Opera House taking place in Shetland (listen to the interview from 24 minutes into the show)

North-east councillors assert commitment to Doric… and Mandarin

5 February 2016 (The Press and Journal)

Aberdeenshire councillors have cemented their commitment to both the region’s native dialect – and a far Eastern tongue.

Both Doric and the Chinese language of Mandarin have been earmarked as priorities in Aberdeenshire’s schools.

Councillors were given an update on the implementation of the “one and two languages initiative” across Aberdeenshire Council’s schools at yesterday’s education, learning and leisure committee.

The progress of the scheme – which ensures that youngster learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue – was hailed by councillors.

Read more...

From language assistant to Chinese government official

5 February 2016 (British Council Voices)

When Abbey Heffer arrived in China in 2013 as a language assistant, she could barely order dinner at a local restaurant in Mandarin. Now, the first female foreign national in history to work for the Chinese government, she can talk and write to her friends and colleagues in Chinese.

Read more...

Bring Chinese language and culture alive in the classroom with a Modern Language Assistant

3 February 2016 (British Council)

Mandarin is a vital language of the future - the Chinese economy is expanding rapidly, almost a quarter of internet usage is in Chinese, and it is the most widely spoken language in the world.

Give your students an opportunity to practice, improve and enrich their language skills with a native speaker. There is nothing as satisfying or rewarding as communicating in Mandarin and being understood by someone who speaks the language.

Support your students in becoming effective communicators and prepare them to be global citizens.

Read more...

Shakespeare Lives 2016

25 January 2016 (British Council)

This Shakespeare Lives schools’ pack has been created by the British Council in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

Specially designed to encourage learning across the curriculum, the resource is split into five key themes; Leadership and Power, Family and Relationships, Identity and Equality, Fate and Destiny, Justice and Rules. Within each themed section you will find a wide range of activities for pupils aged 7-14. These can be used as starting points in individual lessons or as elements of a cross-curricular project, which could be carried out with a partner school overseas.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download the pack. On the site is a link to a number of videos created as part of the celebration. In addition to the English version, the 'Shakespeare Lives in 2016' animation is also available on YouTube in French, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin.

Read more...

Chongqing Chuanju Theatre Sichuan Opera Group Tour

21 January 2016 (CISS)

To celebrate Chinese New Year CISS is delighted to welcome the Chongqing Chuanju Theatre Sichuan Opera Group to Scotland for a tour of Chinese Opera performances in February 2016.

We have a number of free tickets available for schools in three locations:

  • 20 February at the Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen
  • 22 February at Mareel, Shetland
  • 24 February at Platform Theatre, Glasgow

Please see the attached flyer for more details.

Tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis and the allocation per school is a maximum of 30 tickets.

Please contact ciss-info@strath.ac.uk by Monday 1 February 2016 to request tickets.

Related Files

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Multilingual Debate 2016

19 January 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, but also university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives. The audiences participated in the debate by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2016 takes place on Wednesday 23 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus.

To find out more about the debate topics and how to sign up to attend a session, see the video presentations in Arabic, BSL, Chinese, English, French and Spanish on the Heriot-Watt website.

Read more...

SCEN in 2016: Empowering, Enterprising, Networking, Bridging!

18 January 2016 (SCEN)

The latest news update from SCEN has been published.

SCEN Learning of Chinese Project

14 January 2016 (CISS)

Plans are once again in action for the SCEN Learning of Chinese Project in East Lothian primary schools. A wide range of schools will be participating in the programme which started in 2012 and which is growing in momentum as the years progress. The programme is supported by Chinese student volunteers from Edinburgh University via EUSA and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools along with research led by Bilingualism matters and evaluative evidence collected, analysed and presented by an Educational Consultant in languages.

You can read more about this project on the CISS website.

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New guest blog: Tim Nash, Minute Mandarin

12 January 2016 (Speak to the Future)

We are pleased to share the following piece written by Tim Nash of Minute Mandarin - 'Mandarin Chinese is 87% easier than we thought.'

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Many languages, one world - student essay contest

11 January 2016 (ELS Educational Services)

Full-time university students are invited to write an original essay (2,000 words or less) discussing global citizenship and cultural understanding and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these. The essay should reflect your personal, academic, cultural and national context.

Essays must be written in an official language of the United Nations that is not your first language or primary language of instruction during your primary or secondary education.

Essays should be submitted by Thursday 31 March 2016.

Visit the competition website for more information..

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages Course Reports (2015)

7 January 2016 (SCILT / SQA)

We have summarised the Higher Modern Languages Course Reports and highlighted the key messages across all the languages.

These reports contain information on how candidates performed in the 2015 exam diet and give important advice on how to prepare candidates for forthcoming examinations, as well as for the Performance of Talking

The full reports can be accessed on the SQA website.

Read more...

Year of the Monkey education pack

17 December 2015 (British Council)

Discover what 2016's Year of the Monkey symbolises using our new pack filled with fun activities for primary pupils based on Chinese culture and traditions. Start preparing for Chinese New Year, explore the mythology behind the Chinese zodiac and uncover what the Year of the Monkey actually means in 2016. 

Read more...

CISS Winter Newsletter 2015

16 December 2015 (CISS)

The CISS Winter Newsletter 2015 has now been published. This edition includes stories on trips to China, recent hub launches and pupils meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Beijing.

To read more about the fabulous work being done across Scotland to promote Chinese language and culture see the newsletter on the CISS website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Take part in the Mandarin taster classes

15 December 2015 (British Council)

This year British Council is offering schools the opportunity to apply for a free Chinese language assistant to deliver a one hour taster class to their students during February.

The classes are ideal for schools who are considering the introduction of Mandarin to their curriculum in the future.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply by 18 December.

Read more...

SQA updates - Advanced Higher Modern Languages

14 December 2015 (SQA)

The SQA has updated a number of files on their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

A list of updates is attached and the files can be accessed on the SQA website.

Read more...

Related Files

SCILT Christmas webpage now live!

3 December 2015 (SCILT)

Are you looking for ways to bring the festive season to your languages classroom?

SCILT have compiled resources from around the world for use with your pupils, from songs and games to interactive advent calendars. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!

Read more...

Scotland China Association competition for primary schools

3 December 2015 (SCEN)

The aim of this competition is to stimulate interest in Chinese culture amongst primary schoolchildren in Scotland. Children are encouraged to explore Chinese culture and to enjoy expressing what they learn.

The subject of the 2016 competition is:

  • Celebrating fifty in the year of the monkey

Read more...

SCEN December update

3 December 2015 (SCEN)

The latest news and events from SCEN are now available.

This latest update includes a report on the Fourth SCEN China Youth Summit, held at Heriot-Watt University on 27 November.

You can also read about the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland's China Mobile Library as well as take notes of some important dates for 2016.

Related Files

Word Wizard 2016 - last chance to register!

26 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 close on Monday 30th November, don't miss out on the chance to enter this motivating and challenging competition!

Open to S1-S3 pupils to compete in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish, Word Wizard provides learners with the opportunity to improve their vocabulary, pronunciation and memory skills in a competition format. 

In partnership with UCMLS this year we have semi-finals in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow. Sign up now to receive the first set of word lists and start practising!

Read more...

Scotland-China Association Primary Schools Art Competition 2016

23 November 2015 (SCEN/SCA)

For 50 years, the SCA has been a society of people in Scotland furthering interest in the culture, history and modern progress of China. Help to celebrate this connection in painting, drawing, calligraphy, poetry, video or sound.

There are 3 entry categories:

  • P1-3
  • P4-5
  • P6-7

The closing date for entries is 25 March 2016.  Prize-giving will take place on Friday 27 May 2016, with the Tom Murray Memorial Prize to be awarded to the school with the best standard of entries.

Please register your interest by the end of 2015 with: scacompetition2016@scotchina.org

For more information, visit the SCA website.

Read more...

Generation UK: China Network

23 November 2015 (SCEN)

Managed by the British Council, the Generation UK: China Network aims to: 

  • create a vibrant network of UK nationals with experience in China from across different industries, professions and age groups
  • provide a platform for UK nationals with experience in China to interact with one another to develop entrepreneurial, business and academic connections related to China 
  • extend and deepen the engagement of young British nationals with China once they have returned to the UK, strengthening the legacy of student exchange and the Generation UK-China campaign
  • showcase the benefits that experience of China brings to an individual’s employability and skills development

To find out more and join the group visit their LinkedIn webpage.

Read more...

Miss Scotland Mhairi Fergusson jets off to bid for world beauty crown

21 November 2015 (Evening Times)

MISS Scotland 2015 Mhairi Fergusson has jetted off to China ahead of competing in the 65th Miss World 2015.

And learning some of the Chinese language and culture is one of the challenges she has set herself.

Miss World 2015 takes place in Sanya, China on December 19 and the fashion student at Glasgow Caledonian University is hoping to bring home the coveted crown.

Read more...

Meet the Mandarin-speaking Chelsea wonderkid who's pledged his allegiance to Scotland: Ruben Sammut

16 November 2015 (The Herald)

Playing for Chelsea and being fluent in Mandarin, it's fair to say midfielder Ruben Sammut isn't your average young Scottish player.

But the exciting 18-year-old is determined to use playing for Scot Gemmill's Under-19 squad this week in Ireland as a launchpad to a long career for club and country, thanks to help from the likes of John Terry.

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Word Wizard 2016 - regional semi-finals added!

5 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 are now open for your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils to develop their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills.

This year we have 3 semi-finals in venues across the country - in the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. Schools can now choose to attend the semi-final which is most convenient for them.

The Stage 1 word lists were sent to registered schools this week, so sign up now to take part in this exciting and motivating competition!

Read more...

Tianjin Scholars

3 November 2015 (CISS)

The latest post from the Tianjin Scholars is up on the blog. This month scholar Amy Lewis writes about settling into life in Tianjin, travelling to classes and the delights of Chinese street food. Check out her post ‘Learning. Travelling. Eating’.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Languagenut supports 1+2

3 November 2015 (SALT)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 19 world languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin. Languagenut also supports EAL students by offering 80 native languages as support to learn English.

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home and through GLOW, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning and is free for all Scottish schools.

Read more...

Hatching little Chinese speakers at Britain's first bi-lingual Mandarin-English nursery

31 October 2015 (The Telegraph)

At just two-years-old Barclay can already say “hello”, “bubbles”, “wash hands” and several other words in Mandarin. Ursula, also two, can say “fish”, “horse” and “more food” and her Mandarin vocabulary already stretches to more than 50 words.

But this isn't Beijing or Shanghai, and neither are Barclay's or Ursula's parents Chinese. Both children are English and this is a day care centre housed in a Welsh Presbyterian chapel in the City of London.

Welcome to Hatching Dragons, Britain's first bilingual English-Mandarin nursery.

Here children like Barclay and Ursula are just as likely to sing a Chinese nursery rhyme as an English one. Numeracy games are played with Chinese characters as well as Roman numerals and lunch includes not just sandwiches, but spring rolls and fried rice.

Read more...

Edinburgh leading the way in pupils studying Mandarin

31 October 2015 (Edinburgh Evening News)

Thousands of children across the Capital are studying Mandarin – as schools here surge ahead of counterparts in the rest of Scotland.

New figures show 2576 youngsters were taking lessons in the language last year, with 29 city primary schools and 12 secondaries now providing dedicated tuition. And a further five high schools have expressed an interest in participating.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2016 - registrations now open!

30 October 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its third year!

Motivate your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils by taking part in this spellbinding multilingual spelling competition! 

Building on the success of last year's competition, this year we are holding 3 semi-finals across the country - hosted by the universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2016 webpage for more information and to download the Teacher's Pack and Registration form. 

Read more...

Ulster University language staff in Confucius Institute closure warning

23 October 2015 (BBC News)

Modern languages staff at Ulster University (UU) have warned its vice-chancellor that its Confucius Institute may have to close.

Opened in 2012, the institute aims to develop academic, economic and social ties with China.
The university's vice chancellor Prof Paddy Nixon has said the institute is not at risk.

UU decided to close its school of modern languages earlier this year as part of a response to budget cuts.

However, it said they would "continue to support the teaching of Chinese" in schools across Northern Ireland.

Read more...

Language class demands in NI can be met by FE colleges, says UU vice-chancellor

21 October 2015 (BBC News)

The vice chancellor of Ulster University (UU) has said demand for modern language learning in Northern Ireland can be met by further education colleges.

Professor Paddy Nixon was giving evidence to the Stormont Committee for Employment and Learning.

In September, UU said it would close its school of modern languages.

He said the university was "no longer funded to provide the degrees people might like."

Responding to a question from committee chair, UUP MLA Robin Swann, Prof Nixon said that FE colleges could teach languages at the level needed in Northern Ireland.

"The FE provision in languages is actually - particularly when it's about spoken languages as opposed to what a university should be doing, which is a different thing altogether - quite extensive."

"So there is an ability for the system in Northern Ireland to support language provision at the level we need it for business and industry."

Read more...

UK-China School Partnerships Programme

15 October 2015 (British Council)

What's the UK-China programme all about?
 
The programme promotes learning and exchange between UK and Chinese teachers and students. 
 
Both you and your Chinese partner school will work together on a joint project, either Shakespeare Lives or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) between 1 January and 31 December 2016.

Grants of £1500 per school are available to be used during the project for teacher visits, professional development courses or project expenses.

Visit the UK-China School Partnerships Programme website to download the application form. The deadline for applications is 15 November 2015.

Read more...

All pupils to learn two foreign languages by high school

13 October 2015 (Edinburgh Evening News)

It's the pioneering programme aimed at making ­language learning as easy as un, deux, trois.

Every pupil in the Capital will receive lessons in at least two foreign languages by the time they leave primary school under radical plans aimed at helping them keep pace with peers across Europe.

City bosses have confirmed they want to introduce the new scheme, called 1+2, by the start of 2017 – three years ahead of a national deadline set for 2020.

Youngsters will be offered classes in core languages including French, Spanish and Mandarin, as well as Gaelic, Scots and “heritage” tongues such as Polish and Farsi.

The Edinburgh roll-out is part of a Scottish Government-led initiative which will see all children learn a second language from P1 and have experience of a third from P5 at the latest.

Parent leaders in the city have hailed the development and said it would help prepare youngsters for the modern world.

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Languages sessions

8 October 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLAR programme offered by Heriot-Watt University offers a number of support sessions in a variety of subjects for students undertaking National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations.

Attached is the programme of online events taking place from October 2015 to March 2016 to support Modern Languages.

For more information about the SCHOLAR programme visit the Heriot-Watt SCHOLAR website.

Read more...

Related Files

‘British students should jump at the chance to learn Mandarin', says Chinese School teacher

6 October 2015 (TES)

One of the stars of 'Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School' says schools should embrace the opportunity to teach the language as an essential 21st-century skill.

This is proving an exciting year for Chinese Mandarin teachers in this country. Despite education facing budget cuts, putting thousands of teaching posts at risks and threatening the quality of teaching and learning, chancellor George Osborne announced a £10 million investment towards helping schools to teach Mandarin, with the aim of getting an additional 5,000 students speaking the language by 2020.

It might be controversial to many British teachers, who teach core subjects and deliver the essential knowledge and skills, but it is certainly music to the ears of many Mandarin teachers, and to those who are about to train to teach the language in the UK.

Read more...

'More of us need to say 'nǐ hǎo' to Mandarin Chinese'

5 October 2015 (The Telegraph)

Languages are crucial for work and life in the global race, and Mandarin Chinese is one of the front-runners, says Vicky Gough.

At the end of last month, George Osborne vowed to invest £10 million in UK schools so that more pupils can learn Mandarin Chinese, just like his daughter, Liberty.

But should we really be encouraging more of our young people to say ‘nǐ hǎo’ (‘hello’) to Chinese? ‘Shì de’ (yes), we should!

The reality is that languages, in general, are crucial for work and life in the global race, and Mandarin Chinese is one of the frontrunners. Not only is it already spoken by more than a billion people worldwide, but China is recognised as the world’s second biggest economy with many expecting it to wrest the top spot from the US by 2050.

Read more...

Chinese language scholarship opportunity 2016-2017

2 October 2015 (CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotlands Schools and our Chinese partners, the Tianjin Education Commission and the Tianjin International Chinese College, are delighted to offer selected Scottish pupils a one-year scholarship to learn Chinese in Tianjin for the academic year 2016-2017. This life-changing opportunity is one of a kind in Europe and rewards the commitment that Confucius Classroom Hubs in Scotland have demonstrated in the promotion of Chinese language and culture.

Attached is a letter with further details and an application form. We would be grateful if you could circulate to your hub schools as soon as possible. The closing date for applications is Friday 6 November 2015.

Applications should be returned to katie.hawkins@strath.ac.uk.

Many thanks for disseminating this information to interested pupils.

Why Mandarin is Not the Future Language of Business

1 October 2015 (The Examiner)

For decades, Mandarin has been touted as the future language of business. China has the largest population in the world and has enjoyed unprecedented economic growth to become one of the global industry powerhouses. Around 955 million people are speakers of Mandarin which is more than 14.4% of the world’s population. These statistics support the claim that it will be the language of the future, but it’s not that simple. There are many factors that suggest that Spanish, not Mandarin, will become the ultimate business language.

Read more...

Mandarin lessons to get £10m boost, says Chancellor

22 September 2015 (BBC News)

Mandarin in English schools will get a £10m boost, and 5,000 more pupils will learn it by 2020, George Osborne has said on a visit to China.

The cash will be used to recruit and train teachers to teach the language to GCSE level, said the Chancellor in a speech to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Mr Osborne suggested Mandarin would be more "relevant" than traditional options like French or German.

He revealed his daughter, Liberty, was already learning China's main language.

Read more...

Related Links

Mandarin teaching in schools to receive £10m boost (TES, 23 September 2015)

Tianjin Scholars' Blog

11 September 2015 (CISS)

Each year, CISS facilitates scholarships for school leavers at the Tianjin International Chinese College, China. On Sunday 6 September 2015, the 2015-16 cohorts of Tianjin Scholarship left Scotland and began their year living and studying in China.

The scholars will we be updating us on their adventures in the Far East, on their blog. The first post is by scholar Gregor McIntyre. Keep checking back for their monthly updates.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Young Applicants in Schools (YASS)

10 September 2015 (Open University)

The Open University's Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) gives S6 students in Scotland the opportunity to study at higher education level without leaving friends and family behind. Study fits around school work and social lives, encourages independent learning and builds confidence.

YASS is designed to bridge the gap between school and full-time university and help able and motivated students stand out from the crowd. Over 500 young people from more than 100 schools took Open University modules last year.

YASS is a unique opportunity for S6 students in Scottish schools to bridge the gap between school and full-time university through independent learning. Run by The Open University in Scotland, YASS offers motivated and able students a chance to study a range of university level modules in school alongside their other studies. Language options are available in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

Read more...

Happy Emperor and other stories

4 September 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

We are very pleased to publish the 5th animated e-book in the Happy Emperor series. This new adventure sees the Happy Emperor and his friends celebrating the Moon Festival and will help teachers develop children’s talking and listening, reading and writing skills in Mandarin.

Including interactive activities for use on a whiteboard, PC or tablet, the e-book presents an engaging way of introducing and practising simple vocabulary including food, clothes and telling the time. We hope you’ll enjoy using the e-book and would love to hear what you think of it and how you’ve used it with your learners.

Read more...

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition

2 September 2015 (British Council)

Entry is now open for the HSCB/British Council 2015/16 Mandarin Chinese speaking competition!

The competition is a great, fun opportunity for students to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. It is open to UK secondary schools and further education colleges and entrants must be non-native speakers of Chinese.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and apply by 9 October and your students could win a trip to Beijing.

Read more...

SQA vacancies - Visiting Assessors for AH Modern Languages

28 August 2015 (SQA)

SQA is currently seeking to recruit additional Visiting Assessors (VA) to conduct Talking assessments at Advanced Higher level in Modern Languages.

Applications can be found following the relevant links below. You will also find information here relating to contract specification, selection criteria and key performance measures.

Closing date for all applications: 1 November 2015.

Reversing the modern language trend

24 August 2015 (SecEd)

With a focus on Mandarin, Dr Judith McClure discusses the need for local partnerships to inspire pupils to take up languages – an essential skill for the 21st century.

Read more...

Jon Bon Jovi sings Chinese love ballad

21 August 2015 (BBC)

Jon Bon Jovi is aiming to woo his Chinese fans by releasing a music video of him singing the most famous Chinese love ballad.

Set in a recording studio, it starts in soft focus as the soulful opening strains of The Moon Represents My Heart cue up.

The song popularised by Taiwanese superstar Teresa Teng in 1977, is sung from the perspective of a woman whose love is being questioned - her answer is that her love is as eternal as the moon.

Read more...

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival - Moon Festival

20 August 2015 (British Council)

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is the second most important festival in the Chinese lunar calendar after Chinese New Year. This year the festival will fall on 27 September.

To tie in with the Festival, the British Council has developed an education pack to help primary schools celebrate the event with lesson plans, an assembly plan, activities and supporting materials.

Download the free pack now from the British Council website.

Read more...

HSK Chinese Proficiency test success

20 August 2015 (St Ninian's High School Glow blog)

Many congratulations to the pupils who attended the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test in June and achieved a pass.

Read more...

Press Release: Scottish Scholars showcase their year in China

14 August 2015 (CISS)

PRESS RELEASE
14 August 2015

Scottish Scholars showcase their year in China

On Wednesday 12th August 2015, the 12 Scottish young people, who were pioneers on the very first Tianjin Scholarship, showcased their year in China. The Scholarship Showcase was held in the Technology and Innovation Centre, at the University of Strathclyde. The event was organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools based at the University of Strathclyde and was attended by Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, the Vice Consul General Zhang Huazhong, the upcoming Tianjin Scholars of 2015-16 and family and friends.

The showcase was an opportunity for the scholars to demonstrate their language skills and tell about their adventures living and travelling in China. This is the only scholarship of its kind in Europe and is highly competitive

Katie Hawkins, Project Coordinator for CISS said, “I could hardly believe my ears when the young people spoke at the showcase, their level of fluency was incredible! Everyone at CISS is so proud of what these young people have achieved over the last 10 months. Not only have they acquired a new skill, which will undoubtedly stand them in good stead for the future, but they have grown in confidence and become true global citizens!”

ENDS

photo of China scholarship students

Photo:
(L-R) Iesha DeSwarte, Gemma Haggerty, Jamie Lindsay, Kathryn Cowie, Taniya Mobarik, Peter Reid, Deputy Consul General Zhang Huazhong, Chris McNulty, CISS Director Fhiona Fisher, Greg Kennedy, Connor Cloughley, Cameron Smyth, Natalie Hotchkiss



NOTES TO EDITORS

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) is based within SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, at the University of Strathclyde. It is a national centre funded by the Scottish Government and Hanban, the Confucius Institute headquarters of China. Hanban and SCILT have agreed to strengthen educational cooperation between China and Scotland; support and promote the development of Chinese language education; and increase mutual understanding among people in China and in Scotland.

The Tianjin Scholarship runs yearly from September to July. School leavers from Confucius Classroom hubs across Scotland can apply. The Tianjin Municipal Education Commission cover all in country costs, including accommodation, food and tuition. The young people cover the cost of their airfare.

For more information please contact Sarah Macfarlane on 0141 444 8163 or scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Website: www.strath.ac.uk/ciss/
Twitter: @CISSStrathclyde
Facebook: http://bit.ly/cissfacebook
Instagram: @cissstrathclyde

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Vocab Express League of Champions 2015

14 August 2015 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year! The championship will run from Wednesday 30 September until Tuesday 6 October 2015. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are currently still 50 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

Read more...

West Lothian teenagers take part in Chinese Bridge Summer Camp

13 August 2015 (Daily Record)

West Lothian teenagers have had the chance to learn about Chinese culture first hand during a visit this summer.

Ross Bertram, Katie Lumsden, Gemma Shearer, Shannon McManus of The James Young High School in Livingston and Thomas Hendry of Bathgate Academy jetted out to China to take part in a two-week language and culture immersion course with more than 80 other young people from across Scotland.

The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp ran from July 12 to 27 and welcomed young people from all over the UK. The programme offers young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and sample it firsthand whilst also learning Mandarin.

Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) worked with schools around Scotland to put forward Scottish pupils to take up this exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 final - now with photos!

13 August 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

After announcing the Word Wizard 2015 prizewinners back in June, we have now published the photos from the Final in the Scottish Parliament on 29th May. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 Final webpage for the full list of prizewinners and to view the photos via our Flickr album. 

You can download any of the photos by right clicking on the image and selecting 'Save as'.

Read more...

Press Release: Scottish pupils meet First Minister in Beijing

11 August 2015 (CISS)

PRESS RELEASE
11 August 2015

Scottish pupils meet First Minister in Beijing

On Sunday 26th July 2015, 86 pupils and 14 teachers from across Scotland met with the Rt. Hon Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland at the Kerry Hotel in Beijing. The event was organised by the by the Scottish Affairs Office at the British Embassy in Beijing to give the First Minister an opportunity to hear from the pupils about their time in China.

The pupils were in China taking part in a two week language and culture immersion course. The First Minister spent time talking to the pupils about their language learning and culture classes as well as their visits to local landmarks, schools and host families.

Katie Hawkins, Project Coordinator for the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), based at the University of Strathclyde said, “The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp offers a unique and exciting opportunity for Scotland’s young people. In Beijing the pupils met the First Minister and showed her what they had learned. It was a true mix of cultures!”

The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp ran from 12-27 July 2015 and welcomed young people from all over the UK. The programme offers young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture whilst learning Mandarin. CISS worked with schools around Scotland to put forward Scottish pupils for this opportunity.

ENDS 

 
NOTES TO EDITORS

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) is based within SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, at the University of Strathclyde. It is a national centre funded by the Scottish Government and Hanban, the Confucius Institute headquarters of China. Hanban and SCILT have agreed to strengthen educational cooperation between China and Scotland; support and promote the development of Chinese language education; and increase mutual understanding among people in China and in Scotland.

The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp runs yearly in July. Fifth year pupils from each of the Confucius Classroom hubs in Scotland take part. The Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, cover all in country costs, including accommodation, food and transport. The Scottish Government makes a contribution towards the cost of the international airfare. The young people also make a contribution towards the cost.

For more information please contact Sarah Macfarlane on 0141 444 8163 or scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Website: www.strath.ac.uk/ciss/
Twitter: @CISSStrathclyde
Facebook: http://bit.ly/cissfacebook
Instagram: @cissstrathclyde

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Scots university link with China

11 August 2015 (Evening Times)

A SCOTS university is hoping to increase its involvement with China and its higher education institutions.

University of the West of Scotland has formed a partnership with Young Chinese Professionals Scotland which unites and promotes young Chinese in the living and working in the country.

The new agreement will also result in the university increasing its China-related research and cultural activities.

Read more...

Language study bounces back after a decade of decline

10 August 2015 (The Herald)

A long-term decline in the number of pupils studying languages at Higher appears to have been reversed.

New figures show most modern languages have seen an increase in entries in 2015 after years where numbers have fallen.

Statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show French has seen a 10 per cent increase with entries rising to 4,572.

Spanish continues a remarkable rise over the past decade with entries rising 28 per cent to 2413.

Read more...

The teaching of Chinese in the UK

10th August 2015 (British Council)

Alcantara Communications have published a report on the teaching of Chinese in the UK. The report puts forward a framework of seven key objectives with recommendations within each mapped to different groups of stakeholders. These are:
Policy-focused recommendations:
1. Align high level aspirations with appropriately-targeted and resourced action on the ground
2. Build a UK-based teaching force for Chinese in UK school systems
3. Coordinate efforts and monitor the success of the strategy
Recommendations relating to teaching and learning:
4. Provide a coherent ‘learning journey’ for pupils starting in primary school or in the first years of secondary school through to higher education
5. Develop capacity in the management of Chinese in UK school systems
6. Develop a body of expertise and shared professional understanding in the teaching of Chinese language and culture in a UK context
And:
7. Provide advocacy for Chinese to enhance appreciation of the benefits of a knowledge of Chinese language and culture amongst pupils, parents, teachers, school leaders and the general public.

Read more...

Insight: Why Scots face a language barrier

8 August 2015 (The Scotsman)

Our children’s lack of foreign language skills cry out for a shake-up in education policy, and yet constant upheaval in our schools may be one of the problems, writes Dani Garavelli.

Read more...

Bannerman High pupils success in Shanghai

28 July 2015 (Glasgow City Council)

Three pupils from Bannerman High School, who are attending the Shanghai International Youth Summer Camp with young people from 22 countries, have been awarded second place for their presentation and exhibition about Scotland.

S4 pupils Heather Finlay, Alicia Harvey and Emma Hastings, who are studying Chinese at the school, are accompanied on this international trip by their teacher, Jenny Chang.

Fhiona Fisher, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS) based at the University of Strathclyde and who facilitated the trip said: 'This is an outstanding achievement for the pupils from Bannerman High School and their teacher. They have shown the world how great young people from Glasgow can be!'

The Shanghai International Youth Summer Camp runs from 21-30 July 2015 and welcomes young people from all over the world. CISS worked with schools in Scotland to put forward three pupils for this unique opportunity.

Read more...

First and Second Level Modern Languages Learning Map Updates

27 July 2015 (Education Scotland)

Updates to first and second level learning maps are now available on the Education Scotland website.

Read more...

Confucius institute head to host First Minister event in Beijing

26 July 2015 (CISS/University of Strathclyde)

The head of a University of Strathclyde-based centre for the promotion of Chinese language and culture has hosted an event welcoming Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to Beijing.

Fhiona Fisher, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), was invited by the British Embassy in the Chinese capital to provide the opening remarks and introduce Ms Sturgeon at the event, which was held to mark the start of a summer immersion course for school pupils from Scotland.

In the course, 80 pupils, accompanied by 14 teachers and three CISS staff members, are spending two and a half weeks in Beijing and Tianjin, learning Mandarin and visiting places of cultural and historical interest.

The First Minister met pupils on the course at the event, held at the Kowloon Ballroom of the Kerry Hotel, Beijing, on Sunday 26 July. She also met Xu Lin, the Director General of Hanban, an agency affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The First Minister also announced that Scotland is to benefit from a further 21 Confucius Classroom hubs to teach primary pupils Mandarin and boost their language skills.

Mrs Fisher said: “I am delighted to have been invited to host this event in Beijing. The First Minister’s presence underlines the importance of the work we do in CISS to promote understanding and awareness of China - the world’s most populous nation and one of its fastest-growing economies.

“Hearing a language used by native speakers, in a country where it is the national language, is a valuable way of developing linguistic skills. The participating pupils will benefit greatly from the immersion course, not only in enhancing their understanding of Mandarin but also in the opportunity they will have to gain insight into Chinese culture.

“China is one of Strathclyde’s most significant overseas markets. Our role at Confucius is in keeping with the University’s international ethos and is designed to cultivate knowledge of China in prospective future students.”

Hanban will provide additional funding to extend the Confucius classroom hub programme. It will also offer Local Authorities help to fund partially an extra six Mandarin teaching posts across Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We want our young people to be better prepared for life and work in a multicultural, global marketplace and Mandarin is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages.

“Evidence shows that early language learning improves literacy and that young children learn languages more easily. Extending the Confucius Classroom learning programme to primary schools will improve language learning opportunities to more Scottish pupils, in addition to the 20,000 who already benefit.

“We now have the golden opportunity to make a difference in how language skills are offered and delivered to our young people. I am determined to give all of our young people every opportunity to improve their language and literacy skills and raise attainment for every child in Scotland.”

The immersion course is jointly funded by CISS and Hanban. It is accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority on successful completion.

CISS was established in 2012, after the Scottish Government made the initial proposal for the Institute to Hanban. The Institute’s work is aligned with the Scottish Government’s ‘1 + 2’ policy, which aims to ensure all pupils learn two languages in addition to their own, and has secured the place of Mandarin Chinese in the programme.

In partnership with Hanban, the Scottish Government, Tianjin Education Commission and other stakeholders, CISS has established, and currently leads, 16 Confucius classroom hubs around Scotland, covering 21 local authorities, and works with around 20,000 pupils in more than 300 schools. It has increased the number of Confucius classroom hubs in Scotland from nine to 16.

CISS was named global Confucius Institute of the Year by Hanban in 2014, in recognition of its enhancement and promotion of the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

Posted in: Chinese

Forget French and Mandarin - Arabic is the language to learn

12 July 2015 (The Independent)

The 10-year-old was looking at the card in front of him which showed an image of a fish. “Samak,” he said decisively.

He and his classmates at Horton Park primary school, in Bradford, have been learning Arabic for three years now, courtesy of a drive by the British Council to boost the take-up of the language in state schools.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 Final!

18 June 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

On Friday 29th May 42 talented linguists competed in the National Finals of Word Wizard 2015. 

Visit our 2015 Final webpage to read all about this year's event and our impressive competitors. Photos from the event will be published soon.

Read more...

The South London academy with Mandarin on the agenda

15 June 2015 (Telegraph)

Last year, the Department for Education signalled a major expansion of Mandarin lessons in state funded schools. The main aims of the initiative included training 1,200 specialist teachers, and doubling the number of children learning the language to GCSE level by the end of the decade. With teaching of Chinese in UK schools most definitely on the move, those involved are doing all they can to further teaching of the subject.

Read more...

English Language Assistant on Chinese dating show

12 June 2015 (British Council)

Robbie Stanley-Smith from the UK signed up for the British Council English Language Assistants programme and found himself on a Chinese dating show! Watch snippets of his appearance.

Read more...

2015 Chinese Bridge for UK schools

10 June 2015 (British Council)

Hanban are offering a week's trip for UK head teachers to enhance their professional development, inspire their school to learn Mandarin and start up a Chinese school link.

Up to 80 places are available, hosted in different areas of China nationally.

For more information and to apply by Friday 3 July 2015 visit the British Council website.

Read more...

Our toddler is fluent in Mandarin. Is yours? – The new nursery checklist

9 June 2015 (The Times)

What do you look for when choosing a nursery for your child? As the father of an eight-month-old son, it’s a question I’ve been preoccupied with for a while.  You traipse round the open days, admire the finger paintings and secretly run through an internal checklist. Do the people running the place seem actually to like children? How much outside space is there? Can my son take his stuffed zebra every day? Will he learn how to speak Mandarin? Does the food look healthy? That sort of thing.  (Please note you will need to subscribe to access the full article).

Read more...

2015 Annual Chinese Conference interview with Meryl James

5 June 2015 (IOE Confucius Institute for Schools)

With the 2015 Annual Chinese Conference exactly one week away, excitement is mounting here at the IOE CI. We have tracked down one of our workshop leaders, Meryl James of Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), to ask her a few questions about Mandarin teaching and her role in this year’s Conference.

Read more...

Giant panda online game

18 May 2015 (RZSS)

Danestone Primary P7 have designed a giant panda online game. It was created by the help of AVC Media and was part of Edinburgh Zoo's Beyond the Panda Take Action Challenge. Pupils presented the game at the recent SCEN China Day and had an official launch on Friday at their school. It has some language matching games. Take a look and why not play!

Read more...

Revealing the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ In Four New Languages to Mark World Whisky Day

14 May 2015 (Scotland Food & Drink)

Zum Wohl (German), Saúde (Portugese), Santé (French), gān bēi (Chinese), Sláinte (Gaelic) or cheers (English) – there are many ways to toast a dram around the world.

To mark World Whisky Day on Saturday (May 16) four new foreign language translations of the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ guide are being launched this week by Aberdeenshire Provost, Jill Webster, at Glenglassaugh Distillery near Portsoy.

Working in partnership with local whisky producers, Aberdeenshire Council established the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ last year to highlight the less well-known range of small distilleries all within an hour’s drive of Aberdeen, each with its own distinctive history, style and taste.

The guide has been well received by the tourism industry and the printing of the German language version was sponsored by a German tour company specialising in Scotch whisky tours.

The Portuguese, French and Chinese versions of the guide have been produced in response to demand from key international tourism markets.

Read more...

The 10th UK National Chinese Essay Writing Competition 2015

5 May 2015 (SCEN)

The UK Association for the Promotion of Chinese Education is organising its tenth Chinese Essay Writing Competition.  Jessica Guo is keen for Scottish pupils to enter!

Find out more now from Jessica: fsjessy2001@yahoo.co.uk

The deadline is 15 May 2015!

Read more...

Investigation called for over teaching of Chinese language in schools

4 May 2015 (The Herald)

Scotland’s largest teaching union has launched an investigation to see if controversial Confucius Classrooms are hurting the teaching of other languages.

Read more...

Related Links

It is time for clarity on the teaching of languages (The Herald, 4 May 2015)

EIS investigation into Confucius Classrooms (The Courier, 6 May 2015) 

Teaching union fears impact of Mandarin lessons for Fife pupils

28 April 2015 (The Courier)

The Fife branch of Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland), has voiced concerns about the potential impact of teaching Mandarin in Fife schools.

The union has reflected the concerns of some teachers who are worried about the potential impact of Chinese teaching on the uptake of traditional modern languages such as French, German and Spanish.

Read more...

Related Links

Worldwide campaign launched against Confucius Institutes (The Herald, 24 April 2015)

Wanted: home-grown teachers of Mandarin

27 April 2015 (Schools Week)

The Conservatives are promising more Mandarin teachers – and in an ideal world every young person should be able to learn it as a language of their choice. But is this a manifesto pledge that can be implemented?

Read more...

CISS Spring 2015 Newsletter

23 April 2015 (CISS)

The latest edition of the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS) newsletter has been published.  This edition features stories from the CISS hubs, pupil perspectives on learning Mandarin and Chinese New Year events.

You can access the newsletter and previous editions on the CISS website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

SCEN update - April 2015

16 April 2015 (SCEN)

For the latest news and events from the Scotland-China Education Network (SCEN) see the attached pdf.

Related Files

Call for Mandarin and Arabic to be taught from primary school

9 April 2015 (Holyrood Magazine)

Studying a foreign language should be compulsory from the year children start school in order for Scottish firms to compete in the international export market, a business group has urged.

Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian have been pinpointed by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) as “international languages of business” that must be made mandatory in the education curriculum from primary 1 onwards.

It has called on government to implement the measure by 2020 to ensure Scottish businesses have sufficient cultural and language skills to tap into a number of growing economies.

The demand is among a number of 'business asks', which also include staying in the European Union, set out as part of the Scottish Business Voice Campaign, led by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network.

Read more...

Behind the scenes at Britain's Mandarin Speaking Competition – video

24 March 2015 (The Guardian)

Every year the British Council runs a competition to find Britain's best young Mandarin speakers. Those that make it through to the last stage of the competition come to London to compete at the British Museum. We went behind scenes of the competition to follow Louis Carmicheal, 17, from Hull and Natalia Barton, 13, from Liverpool as they prepared for the final.

Read more...

Government urged to review deal for teaching of Chinese in classrooms

24 March 2015 (Herald)

Ministers have come under pressure to review a deal critics claim gives China power over teaching in Scottish schools. There are now nearly 30 Chinese language instructors operating in Confucius Classrooms across the country with officials claiming they have taught more than 20,000 children.

Read more...

Related Links

'UK schools advance Chinese propaganda,' activists say (The Telegraph, 30 March 2015)

Takeaway China Spring Programme

19 March 2015 (SCEN)

Ricefield Chinese Arts and Cultural Centre have published their Takeaway China spring programme celebrating Chinese film, art and crafts.

You're invited to come for a blether at the new travelling culture cafe LiaoLiaoBa! (Chinese for let’s chat about it!). Whether you speak Chinese or English, as long as you like to chat you are welcome! The cafe takes place on Saturday 28 March, 2-4pm at St Mungo's Museum and is free to attend.

See the full schedule of events from March-May 2015 on the attached flyer. 

Related Files

Top London school triumphs with Chinese exchange pupil plan

18 March 2015 (The Telegraph)

A top London state school, determined to invite up to 10 Chinese exchange pupils, has won a challenge over a Home Office decision.

St Mary Magdalene Academy, a Church of England-funded school in Islington, has ambitions to welcome the students into its sixth form so that the pupils have “live” contact with a different culture.

[..]With a so-called global society ethos, the school wants to invite the Chinese pupils to study for the international baccalaureate. The school, which has Chinese language and culture as one of its compulsory subjects, aims to encourage its pupils “to discover their vocation in the global community”.

Read more...

Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

16 March 2015 (British Council)

Want to start your international career with us? Applications are now open for our 2015 future leaders scheme.  You must be fluent in English and be capable and willing to learn one of the following languages: Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.

To find out more about the scheme and full eligibility criteria visit the British Council website.

Application deadline is 30 April 2015.

Read more...

Mothers' advice, in their mother tongue

12 March 2015 (Gathered Together / Beamis)

This blogpost features videos of parents who have been actively involved in community and school groups giving their advice to other parents in their own languages – Arabic, Chinese and Urdu.

Read more...

The Open University ‘Young Applicants in Schools Scheme’ (YASS)

12 March 2015 (Open University)

YASS is designed to bridge the gap between school and full-time university, giving S6 students in Scotland the opportunity to fit study around school work and social lives. The scheme is intended to encourage independent learning and build confidence.

On this programme students may study from a wide range of subject areas across the university; from the Department of Languages, we offer beginners and intermediate modules (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Welsh), an introductory languages and cultures module and also modules in English (academic purposes and professional communication skills for business).

Funding for the scheme is through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which fully supports students from local authority schools studying one of the modules on the scheme.

For further information please visit the Open University website and if you have any queries please contact Scotland-languages@open.ac.uk.

Read more...

LSE Research in Mandarin

12 March 2015 (LSE Language Centre)

A new series of short videos discussing LSE research in Mandarin Chinese has been launched.

Discussing and sharing their research and ideas in Mandarin with English subtitles, LSE scholars are able to engage wider academic and non-academic users in all Mandarin speaking countries and regions. The LSE Language Centre Mandarin team aims to develop teaching materials based on the content of these videos so that a range of new Mandarin courses for Academic Purposes will be offered.

Read more...

Spring Calligraphy Classes - booking now open

9 March 2015 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Join us for a full term evening class or half term Saturday class in the art of Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Painting. Full details can be found on the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

Warnings over Chinese 'propaganda' in Scottish schools

9 March 2015 (The Herald)

Scottish children are at risk of hearing Chinese 'propaganda' in schools, a human rights group has warned.

Free Tibet has accused councils of "nodding through" deals putting teachers controlled by China's ruling regime in to classrooms.

The campaign group believes cash-strapped local authorities unquestioningly accepted Chinese money - and influence - to pay for and carry out teaching they could not otherwise afford as part of so-called Confucius Classrooms.

It now fears a "whitewash" of serious issues in China, such as its continued occupation of Tibet.

Read more...

Chinese as a second language growing in popularity

3 March 2015 (CCTV America)

Guess what the former Australian Prime minister, Kevin Rudd; the successful entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg and the U.S. President Obama’s daughter, Malia Obama have in common? They all take Chinese as their second language. The study of the Chinese language opens the way to different important fields such as Chinese politics, economy, business opportunities, history or archaeology.

In 2010 alone, 750,000 people from around the world took the Official Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). All these people from different industries, backgrounds are learning in hope to understand the often-misunderstood country better and benefit from knowing the most widely spoken language in the world whether it is for personal reasons or business opportunities.

Read more...

Millions share new Chinese character

2 March 2015 (BBC News)

A new word is taking the internet by storm in China - but no one knows quite what it means. The character "duang" is so new that it does not even exist in the Chinese dictionary.

Read more...

‘Hong Kong: A Dream Destination for University Study’ competition

25 February 2015 (Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office London)

UK secondary school students are offered the chance to win a place at a university summer school in Hong Kong!

To enter the competition, all pupils have to do is describe why they think Hong Kong would be a great place to study as a university student. Entries can be through any means – an essay or through social media, for example a video clip on YouTube, a post in a blog, and the entries should focus on the advantages of Hong Kong as a destination of pursuing tertiary education. Five winners will be selected and entries will be judged based on content, creativity and presentation. Deadline for entries is 20 April 2015.

See full competition criteria and how to enter on the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office London website.

Read more...

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

24 February 2015 (The Conversation)

[..] By six to ten months children have already learned to be sensitive to the basic sounds, known as phonemes, that matter in their native language. Yet different languages differ profoundly in the sounds that are important for communication.

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language in which the same basic sounds can refer to vastly different things based on the tone with which it is spoken. In a non-tonal language such as English, tone might convey emotional information about the speaker, but indicates nothing about the meaning of the word that is spoken.

Now a group of Chinese researchers, led by Jianqiao Ge at Peking University, Beijing, has found that these differences between Mandarin Chinese and English change the way the brain’s networks work.

Read more...

Chinese New Year 2015: 6 things you need to know about the Year of the Goat (or Sheep)

18 February 2015 (The Independent)

Everything you need to know about yang, pillows and primroses.

Read more...

Related Links

How I celebrate Chinese new year in the UK (The Guardian, 19 February 2015) - It’s tough for Chinese students to be thousands of miles from their families at this time of year. But many universities hold new year events.

Chinese New Year meets Burns' Supper (China Institute, University of Strathclyde, February 2015)

Why UK teachers needn't fear teaching Chinese

17 February 2015 (British Council Voices)

Is teaching Mandarin Chinese as daunting as it sounds? The British Council's Charlotte Ogilvie hears from a few UK teachers, and shares some useful resources for teaching the language to primary school children.

Read more...

China Club

17 February 2015 (STV)

See Fhiona Fisher and Fan Lin, Director and Depute Director for the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS), talk about the increase in the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture within Scottish schools and the importance of language learning in the global marketplace.

Pupils from Lochend Community High School in Glasgow have been taking up the opportunity to learn Chinese language and culture at the CISS 'China Club' at the University of Strathclyde.  You can also hear from the pupils about their experiences.

See the video on the STV website.

Read more...

Chinese new year celebrations start in Belfast

16 February 2015 (BBC News)

Chinese people in Belfast marked the start of a the Chinese New Year on Sunday with a cultural festival in Belfast city centre. See the video report.

Read more...

Top Scottish sights and landmarks given Chinese names

16 February 2015 (BBC)

Scottish attractions have been given Chinese names in a tourism drive which is helping promote "Strong-man skirt parties" and "Baa baa pudding".

VisitScotland said the translations for Highland Games and haggis were among suggestions put forward in a Great Names public vote across China.

Glen Coe, Splendid and beautiful valley, was the top Scottish contender in a list of 101 British landmarks.

Overall, 13,000 new names were suggested during the 10-week campaign.

Read more...

Related Links

Chinese give Mandarin names to Scottish landmarks (The Scotsman, 15 February 2015)

News at a glance: Chinese Institute rewards East Dunbartonshire

13 February 2015 (TESS)

East Dunbartonshire Council has won the Scottish Confucius Classroom of the Year Award at the annual conference of the Confucius Institute in China. It was chosen as one of eight authorities in Scotland to establish a Confucius Hub for teaching Mandarin.

Read more...

Happy Emperor and other stories

13 February 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

We have great pleasure in launching three new exciting Mandarin ebooks. These motivating stories, activities and suggestions will engage younger learners and will develop their literacy and language skills. We really hope you enjoy using them and please let us know how you have incorporated them into your classroom.

Download the three books in the ‘Happy Emperor’ series through the link below.

Read more...

Mandarin contestants invoke spaceships and evil spirits

10 February 2015 (BBC News)

Secondary school students have been testing their language skills in the final of the British Council's Mandarin Speaking Competition.

One school delighted judges with a comic play about what can go wrong if you turn up at a Chinese restaurant without your purse.

Another embarked on their own version of the tale of Mulan.

Just over 3,000 students take Mandarin at GCSE and the competition's aim is to boost uptake in schools.

Read more...

SCEN competition 2015 - winners announced!

10 February 2015 (SCEN)

The 2015 SCEN competition invited pupils to write a piece on 'Why all Scottish students should have the opportunity to learn Chinese.'

Congratulations to the winners!

  • Lily Penman, P7 (Geits), The Edinburgh Academy - see Lily's entry attached below
  • Joanna Martin, Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline - whose article is published in The Scottish Review

Read more...

HSK exam registration deadline 26 February

10 February 2015 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The deadline for those interested in taking the offline HSK exam scheduled for March 28 is Thursday 26 February 2015. For those planning to take the online exam there is a slightly later deadline of Thursday 12 March.

More information is available on the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

New post-graduate language programmes for 2015

10 February 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

In response to feedback from students, graduates, and the profession Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has introduced several new language programmes for September 2015 entry:

  • MSc Interpreting 
  • MSc Translating 
  • MSc Arabic-English Translating 
  • MSc Chinese-English Translating 
  • MSc Cultural Resource Management (delivered in English)

More information is available on the Heriot-Watt website.

Read more...

The Red Poppy Ladies Percussion Group presents Mulan, The Musical

3 February 2015 (CISS)

In celebration of Chinese New Year, CISS is collaborating with the Red Poppy Ladies Percussion Group to present Mulan, The Musical.

Red Poppy combines traditional Chinese music, kung fu, dance and percussion. This unique theatrical experience is not to be missed! Tickets are available to buy from the venues - follow the appropriate link below.

Performances:

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

SCEN Competition 2015

23 January 2015 (SCEN)

The SCEN Competition invited our young people to write an article entitled:

  • Why all Scottish students should have the opportunity to learn Chinese

SCEN had a very healthy range of entries in both the Senior and the Junior categories! Congratulations to all those who took part and are delighted to announce the winners!

The Senior Prize in the SCEN Competition 2015 has been awarded to:

Joanna Martin, S4, Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline

The Junior Prize has been awarded to:

Lily Penman, P7 (the Geits), The Edinburgh Academy

The Judging Panel were:
  • Kenneth Roy, Editor, The Scottish Review
  • Simon Macaulay, SCEN Field Worker and Chairman of the National Languages Working Group
  • Dr Judith McClure, Convener of SCEN

Joanna will receive a cheque for £250 and her article will be published in The Scottish Review.

Lily will receive a cheque for £100 and her article will be published in a SCEN update.

2015 Disability Scholarship Program

23 January 2015 (CRCC Asia – British Council)

CRCC Asia are delighted to offer two *funded China Internship Programs with the British Council, specifically for students with a disability. The successful candidates will undertake a business placement at the British Council, in Beijing and Shanghai, and obtain first hand experience of China’s business and cultural environments. They will be required to complete the two-month China Internship Program during May-November 2015. The program is open to university students with a disability, and all eligible candidates from any academic discipline are welcome to apply.

Read more...

Confucius Classroom paves way for pupil to attend Oxford

22 January 2015 (The Herald)

A Scots pupil has been accepted to study Chinese at Oxford University after learning the language at school.

Andrew Aitken, who will go to Pembroke College, is the first student in 30 years to go to Oxford from his school.

A pupil at Grange Academy in Kilmarnock he became fascinated with Chinese language and culture after attending his school's Confucius classroom.

He said: "I am excited to be accepted to attend Pembroke College, but I am still in shock. My parents are so proud of my achievements. I am also the first person in my family to attend university, so it is a bit of a shock for them too.

"I have always been interested in languages but my interest is starting to move towards politics and I am really looking forward to studying politics as part of my course."

Read more...

Agenda: Stuart Picken: There are serious questions for Holyrood to ask about Confucius Institutes

21 January 2015 (The Herald)

The establishment by the Chinese government of Confucius Institutes in various parts of the world has evoked a wide variety of responses from simplistic appreciation to less than veiled hostility.

Read more...

Glasgow Youth Film Festival

19 January 2015 (Glasgow Film Theatre)

Glasgow Youth Film Festival runs during the first week of February and will feature films in French, German and Chinese, and all screenings are FREE for Glasgow schools. For more information, visit the secondary school listings on the Glasgow Youth Film Festival website.

Read more...

Languages pilot launched at Midlothian schools

17 January 2015 (Midlothian Advertiser)

A pilot scheme involving 13 Midlothian primary schools has rolled French language lessons to children as young as four. It is part of the “1+2 Languages Initiative” which, based on the mother tongue plus two additional languages, is aiming to revolutionise language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

China’s Confucius Institutes under scrutiny in Scotland

15 January 2015 (SecEd)

Scottish universities have been urged to review their hosting of Confucius Institutes after Stockholm University became the latest western organisation to cut ties with the Beijing-backed language schools. Campaigners say pressure to toe the Chinese government line on topics such as Tibet and Taiwan makes the institutes incompatible with academic freedom. Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Strathclyde universities host Confucius Institutes, with a fifth due to open at Heriot-Watt. Strathclyde also has a dedicated unit to promote Mandarin in schools.

Read more...

Year of the Sheep Education Pack

15 January 2015 (British Council)

Celebrate Chinese New Year, the Year of the Sheep, on 19 February. Introduce pupils to the differences and similarities between the lives, languages and cultures of people in China and the UK with the Year of the Sheep primary education pack, available to download now on the British Council website.

Read more...

Additional Chinese Beginner’s Class

15 January 2015 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

If you were unable to secure a place on one of our 1.1 beginner level Chinese classes starting next week, act now as we have just added a new class which will start on Thursday 22 January 2015.

Visit the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website for more information and to book.

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.

Read more...

Employ a Language Assistant

13 January 2015 (British Council)

Language assistants help bring culture alive in schools across the country and are an ideal way to improve language learning for students and to increase their global awareness, as well as support the implementation of a 1+2 approach to language learning.

Applications to the latest round of the language assistant programme open on January 26 and bids from schools are encouraged to be submitted by the end of March. To help spread the cost, each language assistant can be shared between three schools.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda - new version now available to book!

13 January 2015 (SCEN)

The original Beyond the Panda programme was launched last year, but this brand new version introduces some new areas and most of all has exciting new games and models unique to RZSS.

The outreach involves numerous skills where the pupils investigate, discover, extract information and provide solutions. 

The workshop is for P5-7 where the pupils learn about China and the giant panda while playing educational games: for example, jigsaws comparing habitat and political maps; a giant panda timeline game; a closer look at bamboo and now a section on Chinese characters and simple Mandarin. Sessions are 1.5 hours and maximum number of pupils 36.

For more information and how to book, visit the SCEN website.

Read more...

CISS winter newsletter 2014

6 January 2015 (CISS)

The CISS winter 2014 newsletter has now been published. This edition includes stories on our China immersion course, the Headteacher visit to China and our Tianjin scholars. It also highlights the promotion of Chinese in Scottish schools. 

You can download a copy from the CISS website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Scottish tourist boards told Chinese language sites would tap into £125 billion market

6 January 2015 (Daily Record)

Scottish tourist bodies should create Chinese language websites to tap into the country's £125 billion market where only a tiny minority speak English, according to the Labour Party.
Scotland's winter festivals saw an 8 per cent increase in footfall over the festive period, but Labour external affairs spokeswoman Claire Baker said tourism agencies could be doing more to promote Scotland overseas. "We need to ask are we doing enough to promote what we have, to promote and support international marketing," she said in a debate at Holyrood.

Read more...

Aberdeen looks to lure world's biggest spending tourists

5 January 2015 (The Herald)

The Granite City is hoping to cash in on the world's biggest spending tourists - by launching a Chinese version of its tourism website.

VisitAberdeen hopes the move will boost its share of the £128 billion China spends every year on overseas leisure and business - an average of 50 per cent more than Americans.

Read more...

Related Links

Would you fly 5000 miles to see Aberdeen? (The Telegraph, 8 January 2015)

Falkirk students selected for China scholarship

23 December 2014 (Falkirk Herald)

Four school pupils from Falkirk will be saying ‘nin hao’ to a gap year with a 
difference. While their former classmates and friends enter the workplace or continue their education, the sixth year students will spend a year in China, learning Mandarin and seeing a new culture. Sara Cassidy from Falkirk High and Gao Toole, Nicola Ferguson and Gregor McIntyre, all from Larbert High, have won scholarships to study in Tianjin starting next September.

Read more...

Five things you must do in China (if you're feeling brave)

17 December 2014 (British Council blog)

To really understand and enjoy another culture, you need to jump right in. So says Charlotte Hawker, who’s working as an English language assistant in Nanjing, China.

If you are fortunate enough to make it over to China, here are a few things she recommends to really immerse yourself in the culture and improve your Mandarin along the way.

Read more...

Vacancy: Depute Director - CISS

17 December 2014 (CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, based within Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, urgently requires a Depute Director to support Confucius Classroom hubs across Scotland. There are currently 12 hubs but new hubs will be developed over the next two years giving Scotland a total of 21 Confucius Classroom hubs. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The Depute Director will be responsible to the director for the overall running of CISS. They will take a lead role in the development and promotion of Chinese language and culture in response to the Scottish Government’s China Strategy and the 1+2 languages policy. They will also oversee the work of the CISS team and contribute to the development of corporate and operational plans in order to achieve the strategic aims and objectives of CISS, in line with priorities determined by Scottish Government, Hanban and the University of Strathclyde.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage (vacancy ref 233/2014).  Closing date for applications: 11 January 2015.

Read more...

HSK Exam Dates 2015

15 December 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

For any student keen to test their developing Chinese language skills or to ensure their eligibility for scholarship or sponsored visit to China, holding an HSK certificate of competence is vital.

In 2015 our Institute will hold exams on three Saturdays: 28 March 2015; 16 May 2015; and 5 December 2015.

Read more...

Studying Chinese? Read this before you choose your name

10 December 2014 (The Guardian)

Many students of Chinese adopt a Chinese name. Emily Liedel shares her advice on how to find one that feels and sounds right.

Read more...

Third SCEN China Youth Summit At Gleneagles

9 December 2014 (SCEN)

Over 300 delegates came together at Gleneagles on 7 November 2014 for the Third China Youth Summit organised by the Scottish-China Education Network (SCEN).

The theme of this year’s event was China and Scotland at Home, celebrating the relationship of friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding between Scotland's schools, colleges, universities, professions and businesses. Pupils and teachers from 33 primary and secondary schools attended and the highlight of the day was- as ever- the excellent presentations offered by the pupils about their learning experiences.

Read more about the day in the attached report and visit the SCEN website for photographs from the event and feedback from student attendees.

Read more...

SCEN competition

9 December 2014 (SCEN)

A reminder that the closing date for the SCEN competition is drawing near!

Entries for the SCEN Competition, in collaboration with The Scottish Review and its Editor Kenneth Roy, should be a written article (maximum 850 words for senior students, 200 words for primary and S1-S2 students) on the following:

'Why all Scottish students should have the opportunity to learn Chinese'

The winning entry will be published in The Scottish Review!

  • Senior Prize (senior phase school pupils; university and college students and young professionals): £250
  • Junior Prize (upper primary and lower secondary pupils: £100!

Closing Date: 15 December 2014.

Please send entries electronically to the Convener of SCEN: judithmcclure12a@aol.com

Strathclyde’s Confucius Institute wins global award

8 December 2014 (University of Strathclyde)

A Scotland-wide centre for the promotion of Chinese language and learning has been named global Confucius Institute of the Year.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), based at the University of Strathclyde, was awarded the accolade by Hanban, a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The Institute provides support to more than 300 schools across the country, furthering the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

Read more...

Related Links

Centre in Glasgow wins Chinese language award (The Herald, 8 December 2014)

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Scotsman, 8 December 2014)

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Courier, 8 December 2014) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Evening Telegraph, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Motherwell Times, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (East Lothian News, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Brechin Advertiser, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Fraserburgh Herald, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Southern Reporter, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (The Galloway Gazette, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Forfar Dispatch, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Berwickshire News, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Stornoway Gazette, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Fife Today, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Midlothian Advertiser, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Linlithgow Gazette, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Kirkintilloch Herald, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Hawick News, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Inverurie Herald, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Buchan Observer, 08.12.14) 

Centre wins Chinese language award (Falkirk Today, 08.12.14)

23 things that define Scotland...but what will they become in Mandarin?

5 December 2014 (The Herald)

Famous Scottish landmarks and attractions are to be "renamed" in Mandarin to promote the country in China.

The online campaign will see Chinese people suggest new names for sites such as the Royal Mile and Loch Lomond in the hope that it will spark interest and encourage more tourists to visit Scotland.

The VisitBritain project has already seen Stonehenge given the name Ju Shi Zhen - meaning huge stone clusters - and Buckingham Palace renamed Bai Jin Han Gong - a white, gold and splendid palace.

A total of 23 Scottish landmarks and foods will be put forward for suggestions, including the Loch Ness monster, haggis, kilts and the Wallace Monument.

Read more...

Related Links

Chinese asked to rename Scots tourist favourites (The Scotsma, 5 December 2014)

Connecting Classrooms: UK-China School Partnerships

2 December 2014 (British Council)

British Council Connecting Classrooms programme offers funding for partnership activities between schools in China and the UK.

Funding applications must demonstrate how planned activities will increase global citizenship, enrich education practice, and develop an equitable and sustainable partnership between all schools involved.

Grant applications can be accepted from UK and China schools, sixth-form colleges and comparable institutions providing full-time general, vocational, technical and special-needs education for pupils aged 3-18 years old.

Further information regarding eligibility and how to apply is available on the British Council Connecting Classrooms website.

Deadline for applications is 31 January 2015.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda education project - new website!

2 December 2014 (RZSS)

Thanks to a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (China), Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland got the opportunity recently to visit Chengdu and Ya'an - along with 10 students and 4 staff from Lasswade High School. You can see an excellent video of the trip on the 'Beyond the Panda' new website, which not only includes a wealth of information on the giant panda project but has excellent lesson plans and activities.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland outreach sessions 'Beyond the Panda' and 'Giants' are still available for schools, however they are always revised and redeveloped each year to build on new resources and ideas. Please email Sandie Robb, srobb@rzss.org.uk, for full details.

Read more...

Principal Teacher Languages Post at Kingussie High School

1 December 2014 (Kingussie High School)

Kingussie High School are looking for a dynamic Principal Teacher of Languages, to include leading the work of new Confucius Hub. The successful candidate will also co-ordinate non-manual skills for work courses and be responsible for the schools distance learning, as well as manage the subject group of Languages.

More information is available on the Kingussie High School website.

Read more...

Winter term Chinese classes

26 November 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Language classes for the January-March 2015 term are now open for booking and with 19 classes running over 6 levels we think we have a class to suit most people.

More information is available on the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

China-UK Connections through Culture

26 November 2014 (British Council)

China-UK Connections through Culture is an initiative that builds long lasting relationships and develops exciting cultural collaborations between organisations in the two countries.
The initiative offers support, information, advice, networking opportunities and development grants to cultural organisations in China and the UK.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 18th round of the China-UK Connections Development Grant. Deadline for applications is Sunday 7 December 2014 for visits taking place between February and July 2015. Applicants will be notified by Friday 9 January 2015.

Read more...

Chinese students to boost 'brand Britain'

25 November 2014 (THE)

Chinese-speaking students are to be placed with British companies to help them break into the Chinese market.

A pilot scheme will see students from the University of Sheffield offered internships in a bid to offer companies access to Chinese language, cultural and business knowledge.

If it proves successful, the UK Trade & Investment initiative could be rolled out to other universities and trialled with other major non-European Union student groups, such as learners from India or Malaysia.

Read more...

Zuckerberg's Mandarin From a Chine IV student

19 November 2014 (Huffington Post)

Unless you haven't glanced at the Internet, you should all know about Mark Zuckerberg and his press conference in Shanghai. For those of you who don't know, on Wednesday, October 21, Mark Zuckerberg took part in a Q&A in Shanghai, and to everyone's surprise he began speaking Chinese. Multiple news sources picked up the story unbelievably fast, but unfortunately took it a little too far. Many titles varied from Buzzfeed's "Out of nowhere, Mark Zuckerberg now speaks Mandarin," to CNN's "Like, OMG!! Zuck speaks Mandarin?!!" Many articles praised Zuckerberg for his fluency in the extremely tough language, but I have a slightly different opinion. I've been studying Chinese since 3rd grade, and I'm now in Chinese 4. I am also nowhere near fluent, but I've been studying the grammar, tones and speech of the language for a while now. Here are a few observations I've made about the 30-minute interview.

Read more...

Wu Wenguang and `The Memory Project`- Chinese Independent Documentary Programme

18 November 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Join us from 25-29 November for a truly remarkable programme of cutting edge independent documentary filmmaking in China.

The programme includes screenings of rarely shown films; discussion with the directors after each session; and culminates in a one day event of screenings, a round table discussion and a keynote address from Chris Berry, Professor of Film Studies at King`s College, London.

Full programme details are available on the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

SCEN Competition

18 November 2014 (SCEN)

We invite entries for the SCEN Competition, in collaboration with The Scottish Review and its Editor Kenneth Roy. The challenge is to write an article (maximum 850 words for senior students, 200 words for primary and S1-S2 students) on the following:

'Why all Scottish students should have the opportunity to learn Chinese'

The winning entry will be published in The Scottish Review!

  • Senior Prize (senior phase school pupils; university and college students and young professionals): £250
  • Junior Prize (upper primary and lower secondary pupils: £100!

Closing Date: 15 December 2014.

Please send entries electronically to the Convener of SCEN: judithmcclure12a@aol.com

The Third SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles

18 November 2014 (SCEN)

Our Third SCEN Summit at Gleneagles, China and Scotland At Home, was, I am hearing, the best yet! We were delighted to take part in Homecoming Scotland 2014, as it enabled us to highlight and celebrate the relationship of friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding between Scotland's Schools, Colleges, Universities, Professions and Businesses, and their students and colleagues from China. Our 300 and more delegates enjoyed the palatial surroundings of Gleneagles and appreciated the words of our President, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Mr Michael Russell MSP, and the Consul General for the PR of China in Edinburgh, Mr Pan Xinchun. We were proud to receive a letter of congratulations from Mme Xu Lin, Director General of Hanban, and, with the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, to welcome our teachers from Tianjin and to enjoy the launch of the new ebook, The Happy Emperor.

For more information, photographs from the event and feedback from student attendees, visit the SCEN website.

Read more...

Chinese lessons to start next year

17 November 2014 (The Shetland Times)

Pupils as young as nine will start learning Chinese from next year, a meeting of the education and families committee heard today.

Shetland’s bid to become part of the Confucius Classroom has been successful, it was confirmed last week, and planning for the innovative project will now start.

Jointly funded by the Chinese and Scottish governments, the move to introduce the Mandarin language and Chinese culture to the isles will not cost the local authority anything.

Read more...

Chinese New Year workshops in your school

12 November 2014 (SALT)

Dragons in Europe invite you to bring the wonderfully vibrant and inspiring Chinese New Year celebrations to your school.

The rise of China as an economic and global power has led to the rapid spread of Chinese culture and customs round the world and Chinese language skills are now in high demand. Exploring this fascinating culture is a cross-curricula journey. There will be mythical animal tales, traditional activities, Chinese character writing and lots of smiles. Workshops will include some basic language learning, lots of culture and topical gifts for the children to take away.

*Please note there is a charge for the workshops.*

Read more...

Chinese eBook now online

11 November 2014 (CISS/SCILT)

We are delighted to let you know that the first CISS eBook, Warriors: The Emperor's Incredible Army has now been uploaded to the SCILT website. This free resource was created in partnership with our fantastic colleagues at LFEE and Scottish Opera. The animated book is accompanied by a number of resources which can be used in the classroom.

A number of additional eBooks will be uploaded in due course, so keep your eyes peeled!

Read more...

Warwick teenager wins language competition a year after starting to learning Mandarin

10 November 2014 (Leamington Spa Courier)

A Myton School pupil has triumphed in a national language competition...just a year after he first began learning Mandarin.

Luis Martin, who lives off Emscote Road, Warwick, entered the Language Live Show at London’s Olympia after submitting a video that reached the final of the Strictly 1000 Words competition.
The 15-year-old impressed the experts with the professionalism of his poetry punctuation - not to mention the actions accompanying his comical prose - to triumph in the secondary school section.

Read more...

East Lothian Early Chinese Learning Project

5 November 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

The Scottish China Educational Network, in partnership with Edinburgh University and CISS has been working in conjunction with primary schools in East Lothian to encourage the early learning of Mandarin.

The project involved native speaking students working in conjunction with class teachers to deliver Mandarin lessons to children at P1. The evaluation, carried out by Fiona Pate HMI, makes for interesting reading and provides a thoughtful and valuable insight into how native speakers can be used to enhance primary language learning.

See the report below.

'Learning Chinese in schools is irrelevant to children'

1 November 2014 (Herald)

The current fashion for learning Chinese languages in Scottish schools is misplaced, an academic has warned. Dr Dan Tierney, a reader in languages at Strathclyde University, said Mandarin was hard to learn at first and had less relevance to pupils than European languages. Instead, Mr Tierney believes the Scottish Government should focus resources on languages such as French, Spanish, German and Italian in primary schools to ensure more pupils take up the subjects.

Read more...

Related Links

The pure joy of language (The Herald, letters, 4 November 2014)

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2014

31 October 2014 (Language Perfect)

The search is on for the top language student and languages department in the northern hemisphere... The Northern Championships, taking place from 3-13 November 2014 , pitches students and schools in the northern hemisphere against one another, ONLINE and LIVE, from computers and iPod/Android apps. Teachers can watch the scoreboards for up-to-the-minute updates on how their school and students are going. Maybe your school will become the champions in 2014?

Visit the Language Perfect website for more information.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 now launched!

30 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Our exciting spelling competition Word Wizard has now officially launched for school session 2014-15!

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 webpage to download the Teacher's Pack and registration form. School are advised to register to take part by Friday 28th November.

Read more...

Discovery Channel Show "Oh My Buddha"

30 October 2014 (Yoyo Chinese)

The Discovery Channel show "Oh My Buddha!" takes you on a journey to discover the unknown, often overlooked, cultural overlaps China has with countries around the world.  Here you can see the episodes 'India in China' and 'China in India'.

Vacancy: Administrative Assistant

23 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, (CISS) within SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is looking to appoint an Administrative Assistant for this busy centre. CISS is jointly funded by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and Scottish Government and is expanding to manage new Confucius Classroom Hubs around Scotland in addition to the 12 currently in place.

The postholder will be responsible for providing effective administrative and organisational support to the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. Support will be primarily for the Project Co-ordinator and Manager of the Confucius Institute and will include events management, organisation of trips to China, responding to enquiries and monitoring CISS expenditure and income. The postholder will also be responsible for updating the CISS website and for collating the CISS newsletter and other publications.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage.  Application deadline: 26 October 2014.

Read more...

Word Wizard - returning for session 2014-15!

23 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its second year!

Following on from the success of last year's competition we are once again inviting S1-S3 learners of French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish to take part in this spellbinding competition.

We are currently taking registrations of interest from schools and the competition will officially be launched at the end of October 2014. If you would like to receive updates on the competition please email scilt@strath.ac.uk indicating which languages you are interested in entering.

Visit our Word Wizard webpage to download our 2014-15 flyer with more information on the competition. 

Read more...

Mark Zuckerberg speaking Mandarin sounds like a '7-year-old with a mouth full of marbles'

23 October 2014 (Independent)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wowed an audience at Beijing’s Tsinghua University by calmly chatting his way through a 30-minute interview in Mandarin, but the internet has been a bit harsher comparing him to “an articulate 7-year-old with a mouth full of marbles.”

Read more...

'Chinese students think British boys are gentlemen, but when they get drunk they go crazy'

20 October 2014 (Guardian)

Meet Xiaoyu, a student from China, home to around 19.8% of all international students at UK universities.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Paddy Ashdown: ‘Learning six languages has changed my life’

14 October 2014 (Guardian)

From speaking Malay as a young marine, to offending his Chinese teacher with unfortunate translations, Paddy shares the twists and turns of his language adventures.

Read more...

Chinese: Can't Swim, Won't Swim

12 October 2014 (Huffington Post)

Just the other week, celebrating European Day of Languages and Global Confucius Institute Day, I found myself giving a speech at London's Institute of Education to headteachers, policymakers and exams bodies on the topic of Chinese Teaching in UK Schools.

Read more...

A series of blogs from the British Council on important languages for the UK’s future

10 October 2014 (British Council)

The final post in the British Council's weekly series on the ten most important languages for the UK’s future, as identified by the British Council’s Languages for the Future report, is about Mandarin Chinese. Here, the British Council’s Asmaa Ibrahim explains the characters, tonal differences, and sound similarities that make the language so fascinating.

Related Links

Read the other blogs in the series:

  • Arabic is in great demand and there’s a shortage of well-qualified speakers
  • Russian: beautiful, complex, and a window onto the unknown
  • Turkish: a fascinating structure and huge influence
  • The French language: romantic, precise, close to English
  • German and hipsters: the perfect match?
  • Single Japanese words can contain whole worlds of experience
  • How good is Italian for business?
  • Spanish: learning to speak the language of 400 million people
  • Which languages the UK needs and why

SCEN News

7 October 2014 (SCEN)

The Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) is a voluntary association which aims to promote the teaching and learning of Chinese and about China in Scotland. 

For an update on the latest SCEN activities, see the attached news summary and for information about future plans for the association, download the 'SCEN Ouline Plan 2015-2018'.

Pupils at the hub of language

6 October 2014 (Dunfermline Express)

Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline has been named Scottish Outstanding Confucius Hub 2014 after it was awarded the title for its contribution to Chinese studies.

A successful trip to China saw Queen Anne staff and pupils take on the challenge of Mandarin lessons along with learning about Chinese culture and visiting spectacular sights such as the Great Wall. The kids got to visit Queen Anne’s partner school in Tianjin, where they learned about education in China before heading home to bond with the families by watching the country’s own version of the X Factor! The ‘immersion trip’ saw not only the pupils put to the test, but teachers too as they sat and passed Mandarin exams and came home having learned some useful words.

Read more...

Chinese Celebrations Aim To Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea

24 September 2014 (Edinburgh Guide)

To mark the first ever global Chinese language day, a pop-up Chinese tea house will transform The Mound in Edinburgh this Saturday 27 September. The event will feature a host of activities, including calligraphy workshops, Tai Chi sessions and lessons teaching basic Chinese phrases. Stage performances throughout the day will also showcase modern Chinese pop music, dance and classical music.

Read more...

Learning Chinese: a pupil perspective

21 September 2014 (SCEN)

The SCEN National Pupil Conference was held at the University of Aberdeen on 20 June 2014. Watch this video from the day and find out what pupils think about their experiences learning Chinese.

For more information about the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) and their activities, visit their website.

Read more...

GrowStoryGrow

19 September 2014 (GrowStoryGrow)

Every year, to help celebrate the European Day of Languages, GrowStoryGrow opens up its site allowing children all over the world to experience over a hundred enchanting stories, in several different languages, for free.

This year the GrowStoryGrow is free to use from 22 - 29 September 2014 and to link with this year's centenary of World War 1 there is a very poignant story about Remembrance Day.

Visit the website for further information and to access the materials.

Read more...

Early Films of China on BFI Player

19 September 2014 (BFI)

Our collection of early films of China (1901-1949) are now available online in the UK (with plans to make them available in China next year). There’s an introduction to the collection on YouTube.

The collection includes clips on:

Thoughts about the films from director Xie Fei, amongst others, are also featured.

This collection is still being researched, so always very grateful to find new information about the films. If anyone has any additional information that they’d like to share (including further information about locations), please can they email Holly Hyams – holly.hyams@bfi.org.uk.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, Resources

Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) 2014 - Mandarin for life and work seminar

11 September 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Come along and hear how to develop learners’ employability skills through learning and teaching of Mandarin! The workshop will demonstrate the practice that is taking place in Broughton High School, Edinburgh. In particular, we will share how this modern language department has developed learners’ employability skills and gained accreditation for them through the SQA Language for Life and Work Award. You will also hear about what Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools can do for you and discuss ideas for linking businesses and schools to create a meaningful context for learning that develops young people's language skills and their understanding of the world of work.

For further details on this and the other language-related seminars at the September event, see the Scottish Learning Festival brochure on the Education Scotland website, where you can also book your seminar place.

Read more...

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition

9 September 2014 (British Council)

Applications for the 2014-15 competition are now open.

The competition is a great, fun opportunity for students to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. Winning students will win a trip to Beijing and visit historical sites, interact with Chinese students and experience Chinese culture.

See the British Council website for more information and to apply. Application deadline 10 October 2014.

Read more...

Disability of a different character

8 September 2014 (Economist)

For a foreigner, learning how to read in Chinese sometimes feels like spot-the-difference: one of those children’s puzzles where you have to find tiny dissimilarities in two nearly identical pictures.

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Chinese mid-Autumn Festival - primary education pack

5 September 2014 (British Council)

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is the second most important festival in the Chinese lunar calendar after Chinese New Year. This year the festival will fall on 8 September. To tie in with the festival, our education pack helps primary schools across the UK explore Chinese culture and language.

Read more...

Learn languages to boost your MBA

4 September 2014 (The Guardian)

In the increasingly globalised world of work, multinational companies are looking to hire business high-flyers who can communicate in several different languages.

Europe’s top business schools are responding to this need; courses at Insead, IESE, HEC, and London Business School incorporate a language requirement as well as the opportunity to learn and practise another language. Insead teaches Mandarin at Fontainbleu and in Singapore.

For some schools, a language component is a compulsory part of the MBA. The Insead MBA is taught exclusively in English, so fluency in the language is a pre-requisite, but in addition to that, another language at a practical level is also required for entry – and students are expected to add a third language by the time they finish their MBA. “At Insead we believe strongly in the importance of an international outlook and the ability to work effectively in multiple cultures,” says admissions director Pejay Belland.

Read more...

Related Links

Doing an MBA abroad could give you a competitive edge (The Guardian, 4 September 2014)

China Celebration 27 Sept - volunteers needed

28 August 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

On Saturday 27th September we will hold a special celebration on the Mound to mark the 10th anniversary of the set up of the network of Confucius Institutes around the world. We have exciting plans and to deliver our Confucius Institute Day we are looking for volunteers.

For more information visit the Confucius Institute's website.

Read more...

When Chinese children forget how to write

27 August 2014 (BBC News)

In China, it takes blood, sweat and months of studying dictionaries to become a Character Hero.
Millions tune in every week to watch teenagers compete for the title. Character Hero is a Chinese-style spelling bee, but in this challenge, young contestants must write Chinese characters by hand.
[..] But the knowledge of how to compose those characters is in danger.

Read more...

Vacancy: Project Co-ordinator

21 August 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, (CISS) within SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is looking to appoint a Project Co-ordinator for this busy centre. CISS is jointly funded by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and Scottish Government and is expanding to manage new Confucius Classroom Hubs around Scotland in addition to the 12 currently in place.

You will have responsibility for the administration function of various CISS projects from inception through to completion and for supporting the Depute Director and Senior Administrator of CISS. In particular you will be responsible for managing the project administrative systems, financial monitoring, project planning as well as organising events and project activities. You will be responsible for the co-ordination of trips to China and the role will involve some overseas travel.

For further information about the role and to apply, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancies website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

21 August 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, based within Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, urgently requires a Professional Development Officer to support Confucius Classroom hubs. There are currently 12 hubs across Scotland; however, new hubs will be developed this year with further hubs opening in 2015-16. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

For further information and to apply, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancies website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Using two languages in one sentence not necessarily bad: Study

21 August 2014 (Channel News Asia)

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design say children speaking a mix of English and Mandarin may help them achieve a better grasp of the languages. They plan to expand their research to other mother tongue languages.

Read more...

1+2 Pilot Schools: planning and materials published

13 August 2014 (SCILT)

New to the 1+2 section of our website is the ‘Planning and materials from pilot schools’ page. Here you will find a selection of plans and resources, many with sound files, that were created and/or used by 4 of the primary schools during their 1+2 pilot project. 

All documents and presentations can be downloaded, used and adapted to kickstart or refresh your school’s primary language learning (PLL).

Each pilot project had a different aim and was supported by SCILT and Education Scotland differently, in order to best meet the school’s needs. To find out more details about all ten 1+2 pilot projects read the 1+2 pilot evaluations.

COMING SOON: Key messages from the pilot schools from the 2014 1+2 Learning Events.

Read more...

Autumn Language Classes open for booking

5 August 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

A wide array of Chinese language courses are on offer for the 2014 autumn term which runs from late September to early December.

Most classes will start week beginning 22 Sept running for ten weeks and ending by 27 November. Two new beginners classes and one 1.2 class will however start one week later, have a mid-way break of one week and run through till 10 December.

Read more...

Calligraphy Classes-Evening & Weekend

5 August 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

In autumn 2014 we are pleased to offer a choice of classes for those keen to discover or practice their skills with a calligraphy brush.

Visit the Confucius Institute in Edinburgh's website for more information.

Read more...

Edinburgh Student Wins First Prize

5 August 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

In the 2014 global Chinese Bridge competition to find the most talented and best Chinese linguists, University of Edinburgh Chinese Studies recent graduate, Ieva Nagyte won first prize.

This year`s competition is the 13th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition for Foreign College/University Students. Following regional and national heats 126 contestants from 87 countries competed in this year`s global final which was held in Changsha, China.

Read more...

Student of Education gets set for China

17 July 2014 (HaSS eNews (University of Strathclyde))

A student of Education is one of five students in Scotland to be selected to participate in a new summer study programme in China. Sharon Gow, a second year student of the BA in Education, will act as an ambassador for the University of Strathclyde during her 10 day visit to Shenzhen in China.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Greg’s Chinese adventure

16 July 2014 (Kirkintilloch Herald)

Greg Kennedy, a Bishopbriggs-based high school pupil, has won a prestigious scholarship to study at a university in Tianjin, China, through a programme organised by CISS.

Posted in: Chinese

Ming: The Golden Empire on display at National Museum of Scotland

26 June 2014 (BBC)

A major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland is telling the extraordinary story of China's Ming dynasty.

The collection from Nanjing Museum, including Chinese National Treasures, will be on display in the only UK showing of the exhibition. It opens on 27 June.

Read more...

Related Links

Ming: The Golden Empire (Confucius Institute Scotland, 23 June 2014) - article includes booking information.
Posted in: Chinese

Researchers, brush up your Mandarin and get ready to spend time in China

25 June 2014 (The Guardian)

The scope for UK-China research collaboration is clear, says James Wilsdon, but we need to broaden our focus.

Read more...

East Lothian pupils learn Chinese

20 June 2014 (Bilingualism Matters)

If you live in East Lothian, chances are that in a primary school near you is a group of pupils who love nothing better than running around the playground singing “happy Birthday to you” in Chinese.

On 12 June, over 400 primary school pupils, teachers and parents gathered in Musselburgh to celebrate the hugely successful Early Learning of Chinese project . There was singing, traditional Chinese dancing, and even a Chinese version of the hokey-cokey – no mean feat!

Read more...

Word Wizard Final photos and video

20 June 2014 (SCILT)

Photos from the Word Wizard Final, featuring all of our great winners, and now available to view via our Word Wizard Final webpage. 

We also have a short video, filmed throughout the day, giving some background to the competition and showcasing the wonderful skills demonstrated by all of our spellers.

Read more...

SCEN Early Learning of Chinese Celebration

19 June 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Over 400 primary school children gathered at Brunton Theatre earlier this month to demonstrate how much they have learned from working with Chinese volunteers from the University of Edinburgh.

Read more...

Word Wizard Final 2014 webpage

13 June 2014 (SCILT)

Following the announcement of the Word Wizard winners last week we now have a web page celebrating the final. We will be publishing photos from this fantastic event soon! 

Details of the 2015 competition will be announced later this year so stay tuned.

Read more...

New institute to boost link Scots-Chinese links

10 June 2014 (The Scotsman)

A new institute aimed at boosting links between Scotland and China will be opened today by Education Secretary Mike Russell.

The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication has been set up at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh after being approved by the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Education last November.

It is hoped the new centre will promote business, communication and cultural links between the two nations.

Read more...

Related Links

Ties with China are boosted by centre (The Herald, 11 June 2014)

Mandarin on the school curriculum under languages shake-up

6 June 2014 (The Telegraph)

(Relates to England) Tens of thousands of pupils will be given lessons in Mandarin under a Government-backed drive to introduce “the language of the future” into state schools, it is announced today.

More than 1,200 specialist Mandarin teachers will be trained in the subject to give state pupils the same access to classes as their counterparts in private schools, it emerged.

Read more...

Word Wizard finals

6 June 2014 (SCILT)

Last Friday, 30th May, saw the final of our new Word Wizard competition take place in the prestigious venue of the Scottish Parliament. 60 pupils from schools across Scotland took part in the semi-finals in the morning, and over 100 pupils, teachers and guests enjoyed the final in the Members’ Restaurant. The day opened with an inspiring speech from Maureen Watt MSP and ended with a vote of thanks from Annette Zimmermann of the University of St Andrews, who supported us in running the competition. We were delighted to have Graham Blythe from the European Commission and Ms. Lv Yanxia from the Chinese Consulate present the shields and cups to the winners. The pupils demonstrated excellent skills in spelling, vocabulary and character recognition, and displayed great confidence in doing so in front of an audience.

The winners in each category were:

French Beginner:

  • 1st Elspeth Nicol – Ross High School
  • 2nd Amelie Davidson – St Joseph’s Academy
  • 3rd Robert Brewer – The Glasgow Academy

French Intermediate:

  • 1st Owen Wilson – Greenwood Academy
  • 2nd Steffi Graham-McGill – James Hamilton Academy
  • 3rd Emma Rattray – Dollar Academy

Gaelic Beginner:

  • 1st Anna Gallagher – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)

German Beginner:

  • 1st Fraser Anderson – Stewart’s Melville College
  • 2nd Charlotte Caskie – Lomond School
  • 3rd Florence Macgregor – The Mary Erskine School

German Intermediate:

  • 1st Eilish Murphy – St Margaret’s School for Girls
  • 2nd Freja Arnlund – The Mary Erskine School
  • 3rd Fiona Todman – Queen Anne High School

Mandarin Beginner:

  • 1st Francesca Tassieri – Hillhead High School
  • 2nd Charlotte Johns – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd William Cox – Perth High School

Mandarin Intermediate:

  • 1st Ines Bertaso – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • 2nd Ivan Myachykov – Hillhead High School
  • 3rd Jack Mitchell-Luker – Williamwood High School

Spanish Beginner:

  • 1st Paul Gillon – John Ogilvie High School
  • 2nd Georgie Cassidy – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd Erin McIntyre – The Glasgow Academy

Spanish Intermediate:

  • 1st Rosie Hutcheon – The Glasgow Academy
  • 2nd Caitlin Barrie – John Ogilvie High School
  • 3rd Ella McPherson – St Margaret’s School for Girls

We would like to congratulate all pupils who reached the finals and every pupil who took part in the competition in their schools over the past year.

We hope to see lots of you entering the competition next year!

Motion congratulates SCILT and CISS on Word Wizard competition 2014

5 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has lodged a parliamentary motion congratulating SCILT and CISS on the Word Wizard competition 2014. The motion states:

"That the Parliament congratulates Scotland‘s National Centre for Languages and the Confucius Institute for Scotland‘s Schools on the Word Wizard Competition 2014, which was held in the Parliament on 30 May 2014; recognises the S1-S3 pupils, including those from Bucksburn Academy and Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, who impressed the judges with their French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic skills; notes that, in partnership with the University of St Andrews, and with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the contest encourages pupils nationally to improve their vocabulary, and highlights what it sees as the importance of language and learning."

Motions are used by MSPs to initiate debate or propose a course of action, or simply to generate support, and many other MSPs have signed up in support of this motion. It's very encouraging to have SCILT/CISS work acknowledged in this way.

Read more...

Mandarin – Is it worth the effort? Absolutely!

2 June 2014 (Engage for Education)

Today candidates are sitting Intermediate 1, 2, National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers in Cantonese and Mandarin. John Somers learned Mandarin to take up the role of First Secretary for Scottish Affairs in Beijing, where he is helping to promote and represent the Scottish Government’s cultural, educational and economic interests in China. John is pictured with Iris Fu and Anjing Wang, two locally employed members of staff who work with John in the Scottish Affairs Office in Beijing.

Read more...

Cable urges more UK students to study in China

27 May 2014 (The Herald)

Vince Cable is calling for more UK students to visit China on exchange trips as part of a fresh bid to boost links with the nation.

The Business Secretary has called on businesses to support a British Council programme which aims to see 80,000 UK students take part in study or work experience programmes in China by 2020. Mr Cable's call came as he visited Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou.

"The global centre of gravity is shifting eastwards to major economic powerhouses like China," he said.

"But while China sends around 100,000 students each year to the UK, we send little more than 5,000 in the opposite direction. We must raise our game. New independent research shows that a lack of language skills in the UK is costing our economy about £48 billion. The shortage of Mandarin speakers is part of the problem. I don't want young British people to get left behind.

Read more...

CISS Documentary

23 May 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute in China, all Confucius Institutes worldwide were tasked with making a documentary highlighting the teaching and achievements of each Institute. We are delighted to announce that the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s School’s documentary ‘CISS Today’ is now available to view on the CISS website. 

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, CISS news

Should more UK pupils be learning Mandarin?

22 May 2014 (BBC News)

Thousands of pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are due to sit their Mandarin GCSE exams on Friday.

The number of students make up only fraction of those studying European languages and many argue that is a wasted opportunity which could be costing our economy billions.

The BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie reports.

Read more...

The b small Young Linguist of the Year Award 2014

14 May 2014 (bsmall publishing)

The b small Young Language Learner of the Year Award is open to all children in the UK aged 6 - 11 years and will run throughout the spring and summer terms. Children can enter their stories in French, Spanish, German, Italian, or, for the first time this year, Mandarin.

You can enter in one of two categories according to your age: 6-9 years or 9-11 years. We have included nine year olds in both categories in case you want to enter with your class.

Closing date for entries is 2 June 2014.

Read more...

SCA Primary Schools Competition 2014

6 May 2014 (SCEN)

The Scotland-China Association Primary Schools Competition 2014, incorporating the Tom Murray Memorial Prize and sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, aims to stimulate interest in Chinese culture amongst primary school children in Scotland.

The subject of the 2014 competition is 'Festivals celebrated in China'. 

Children are encouraged to explore Chinese culture and to enjoy expressing what they learn.

There are three categories for entries - P1-3, P4-5, and P6-7. Entries can be in one of the following formats :

  • written work
  • two- or three-dimensional work (up to A2 or 40cm x 40cm x 40cm respectively)
  • video or DVD

Closing date for entries is 6 June 2014.

See the attached flyer for more information or visit the SCEN website for further details of the competition and how to enter.

Read more...

Related Files

News from SCEN

5 May 2014 (SCEN)

Download the attached bulletin for the latest news and events from the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN).

Related Files

Summer 2014 Language Courses

2 May 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

In July and early August we will run a range of Chinese courses for beginners, consolidation sessions for existing students, and an introductory character course.

See the website for details of all the courses and to register.

Read more...

HSK Exam Date - 10 May 2014

2 May 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The next exam date for HSK candidates who are sitting the offline exam at the Confucius Institute for Scotland is Saturday 10 May 2014.

The exam schedules are available on the website.

Read more...

Asia’s mathematical advantage runs deep

25 April 2014 (TES)

Chinese culture and language give children many advantages when it comes to learning maths, but the West needn't give up. Achievement can be boosted simply by changing attitudes.

Read more...

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition 2013-14

24 April 2014 (British Council)

The winners of the HSBC Mandarin Speaking Competition 2013-14 visited China earlier in the month.

Winners included John Moore from Dollar Academy who won the Beginners Individual category and Hillhead High School which came third in the Groups category. Congratulations to all the winners!

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

Chinese Cinema: A Broader View

7 April 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

On consecutive Sunday in April and May the Edinburgh Film Guild will be screening films from the three main Chinese cinemas - mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, and Taiwan, along with a selection of shorts from Chinese diaspora filmmakers in Singapore.

More details about the programme are available on the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

2014 Propeller TV Presenter Competition

27 March 2014 (Propeller TV)

On behalf of Propeller TV, the premium channel for the UK-China community broadcasting on SKY 189 and Freeview 229, I would like to invite your students to enter the "2014 Propeller TV Presenter Competition". All those who are fluent in both Mandarin and English and who are interested in presenting are welcome. The final will be held in London in early April.

It would be a great opportunity for students to practise their linguistic and presenting skills. On top of that, the winner will be given the opportunity to work as a presenter at Propeller TV.

For the rules and more information about the competition, please visit the Propeller TV website.

Deadline for applications is 14 April 2014. 

Read more...

Four winners at Chinese Bridge

25 March 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Three Edinburgh students and their tutor took top places at the UK wide `Chinese Bridge` competition for university students on Saturday March 22.

Read more...

Consultation on The Future of Chinese Studies – A Call for Views

24 March 2014 (China-Britain Business Council)

The British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS), which represents the interests of those in the academic community engaged in China related teaching and research (language, history, social science etc.), is initiating a consultation exercise which seeks to collect stakeholder views (business, education, policy, employers) about the current and future role of Chinese Studies in the UK. A broad section of views from interested parties will provide the basis for a working group, which will then organise a ‘Chinese Studies Day’ to take place later this year. If you are interested in helping us develop a successful and fit for purpose Chinese Studies offering in the UK, visit our survey page.  It will only take 5 minutes to complete. The deadline for views is Monday 7 April 2014.

Read more...

Michelle Obama supports studying abroad for "bridges of understanding"

CIHAN Beta (22 March 2014)

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday called on students to study abroad to build "bridges of understanding" during her visit to a Beijing university. 

"Studying abroad is about so much more than improving your own future. It's about shaping the future of your countries and of the world we all share," Obama said in a speech at the Stanford Center of the prestigious Peking University. 

[...] "By learning each other's languages and by showing such curiosity and respect for each other's cultures, you are building bridges of understanding that lead to so much more," she told an audience of about 200 students from China and America.

Read more...

News at a glance - South African curriculum to embrace Mandarin

21 March 2014 (TES)

Mandarin lessons are to be introduced to South African schools, ministers have said. A new curriculum for the subject would be developed with the help of the Chinese government, the Department of Basic Education confirmed.

Read more...

Apply now for a Language Assistant. Bring language and culture alive with a native speaker in the classroom

20 March 2014 (British Council)

Support implementation of the 1 + 2 languages policy by hosting a Language Assistant in your school.

The British Council team is on hand at every step and our dedicated online support offers everything you need to get your pupils’ learning experience off to a great start. Our free service includes careful selection of the best candidate to suit your school, guidance on administration and training courses for Language Assistants.

How can Language Assistants help?

Their responsibilities can be tailored to suit your school’s requirements. Assistants can support the teaching of a first (L2) or a second (L3) modern language by:

  • supporting teachers’ language acquisition and improving their cultural knowledge
  • developing lesson plans and delivering classes on topics to complement different subject areas
  • running extra-curricular activities for additional support (e.g. lunch time clubs)
  • working across different areas of the Curriculum for Excellence to develop projects based on cultural themes
  • setting up an international partnership with a school overseas.

Where are they from?

Assistants are native-level speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. They come from 15 countries in Europe and beyond.

You can also apply for a Chinese Language Assistant for free (by 31 January) or at a heavily subsidised rate (by 28 March). They  work from mid-September 2014 to 26 June 2015.

What do I do next?

Visit our website to find out more about the programme and apply. If you are a local authority school, your local authority should apply on your behalf.

Contact the Languags Assistants programme directly: assistants.uk@britishcouncil.org.

You can also read an assistant’s blog on her experience of teaching French in an Angus primary school.

HSK and HSKK 10 May 2014

17 March 2014 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The second diet of HSK and HSKK exams of 2014 organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland will be held on Saturday 10 May.

Read more...

Spring Term Classes Open for Booking

13 March 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Classes in the spring term, which will begin on Monday 21 April running for ten weeks through till w/b 23 June, are now available to book online.

Read more...

Audio Lingua

12 March 2014 (Audio Lingua)

Audio-Lingua offers mp3 recordings in several languages. It is a collaborative bank of authentic audio resources, recorded by native speakers, and can be searched by level, topic and language.

Read more...

PaiBa! Photo Club

07 March 2013 (Ricefield)

Literally meaning “Shoot it!” in Chinese, PaiBa is one of Ricefield’s new, free monthly meet-ups for keen photographers to enjoy shooting and sharing photos inspired by Chinese photography and culture:
* Chinese inspired photo assignment each month
* Bring your photos along to share views and techniques
* Chat in a relaxed setting at Feast restaurant (upper floor)
* Amateurs and beginners welcome!

Featuring presentations from Chinese photographers Yao Hui, Cui Ying and Guo Xueci.

To join PaiBa please contact info@ricefield.org.uk

Read more...

Chinese Culture and Conversation Corner

3 March 2014 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

Chinese Culture Conversation Corners take place on Friday evenings from 5.30-7pm. Open to anyone who is learning Chinese or who has an interest in Chinese culture, each week there is a special theme.

14th March will see a focus on Chinese Musical Instruments
21st March will focus on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
28th March will introduce you to some Traditional Games.

Read more...

Confucius Hubs video - Mike Russell's blog

27 February 2014 (Scottish Government)

Thursday 27 February 2014: Another day.... another camera. And there have been a lot of them this week.

This morning after recording a piece on video about Higher Education for an educational website I was interviewed for a short film on the learning of Chinese language and culture.

The Hanban, which promotes Chinese language and culture abroad is a key partner for the Scottish Government in establishing Confucius Hubs and classrooms across the country. They provide resources and teachers and they are also good hosts for Scottish pupils.

The world's best Confucius Classroom, as they are known, is St Ninian's High in East Renfrewshire, and that is an official accolade they won in Beijing last year. Now each of the countries in the scheme is making a short film to contribute to a world wide project and the Scottish producers asked me to say a few words for our one.

Read more...

HSK Exams 2014 - March, May, November

25 February 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The first diet of HSK exams of 2014 organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland will be held on Saturday 15 March.

For further information visit their website.

Read more...

Fear not, Grasshopper, learning Mandarin just got Chineasy

16 February 2014 (Sunday Times)

It is one of the world’s toughest languages but after a few minutes using a simple picture system devised by London entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh, Oliver Thring was grasping the basics.

Read more...

SCEN Network Meeting 7 March 2014

13 February 2014 (SCEN)

The next SCEN Network Meeting will take place on 7 March 2014, 12:30pm at Lasswade High School.

Future dates for the SCEN diary include:

  • University of Aberdeen, SCEN, NE Hub Conference: at the University of Aberdeen: Friday 20 June 2014
  • SCEN Event: the afternoon of Monday 29 September 2014
  • China Day at Edinburgh Zoo (probably May 2014)
  • SCEN Early Learning of Chinese Project Conference, with East Lothian Council and the University of Edinburgh, June 2014

Further details of the Network's activities and events can be found on the SCEN website.

SCEN would also like to highlight that Ricefield Chinese Arts and Cultural Centre in Glasgow is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is looking for new partners and projects, so please explore the Ricefield website.

Read more...

Auld Lang Syne - Nanjing Little Red Flower Art Troupe with Douglas Academy Chamber Choir

10/02/2014 (CISS)

Auld Lang Syne performed at a special concert of the Nanjing Little Red Flower Children's Art Troupe with Douglas Academy Chamber Choir at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow on 7th February 2014. Filmed for the forthcoming documentary on the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools by Mark Pentleton.

Read more...

Related Links

East meets west as Douglas Academy choir welcome Chinese students (Milngavie & Bearsden Herald, 13 February 2014)

HSK March Exam - Registration Deadline 13 Feb

7 February 2014 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

Registration for the first HSK exam of 2014 closes on Thursday 13th February with the exam itself scheduled to take place on Saturday 15th March 2014.

Read more...

Ideas for UK schools to teach Mandarin Chinese

5 February 2014 (British Council blog)

UK schools traditionally teach European languages, but with several current government initiatives attempting to also connect the UK better with China, the British Council’s Vicky Gough answers how UK schools can help their students pick up Mandarin Chinese.

Read more...

Related Links

Why native English speakers can learn Mandarin Chinese more easily than they think (4 February 2014, British Council blog)


Chinese Culture and Conversation Corner

5 February 2014 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The first Chinese Culture and Conversation Corner of the winter semester will take place from 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm on Friday, 7 February 2014, at Abden House. This event will focus on Chinese Creative Language. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Chinese new words, slang and popular culture.

Visit the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website for further details of the programme.

Read more...

7 Reasons You Should Teach Your Children To Speak French

5 February 2014 (Business Insider)

The New Republic's John McWhorter just came out with an essay on why we should stop pretending French is an important language.

The piece comes in response to a New York Times article about a new initiative from the French government to increase the amount of French instruction in American schools.

To be sure, it's a little heavy handed for a foreign government to be attempting to quasi-infiltrate another country's education system.

But here's why McWhorter's wrong, and why everyone should learn French.

Read more...

Why native English speakers can learn Mandarin Chinese more easily than they think

4 February 2014 (British Council blog)

The government, business leaders and probably your parents (if you’re at school) will tell you it’s good to learn Mandarin Chinese, but the language’s reputation as impossible may make you balk at the challenge. Weicong Liang, Chinese Instructor and Teaching Supervisor at the Business Confucius Institute, University of Leeds, demystifies.

Read more...

The school teaching Chinese Mandarin

4 February 2014 (CBBC Newsround)

From September primary schools across England will have to teach foreign languages. Most students will learn European languages like French, German or Spanish - but Nel visited a school where students are learning the Chinese language Mandarin - see Nel's video report.

Read more...

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition 2013/14 Winners

3 February 2014 (British Council)

Congratulations to the winners of the HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition 2013/14 who took part in the final at The British Museum on 3 February.

Scottish schools performed well in the competition with Dollar Academy winning the individual beginner category, whilst Hillhead High School came third in the group category.

The winning students will spend a week in Beijing in April, visiting historical sites, interacting with Chinese students and experiencing Chinese culture. Well done everyone!

For more information about the competition, visit the British Council website.

Read more...

Red tape cut for Chinese teacher visits

3 February 2014 (Herald)

Teachers heading to Scotland to promote the Chinese language will be given leave to remain in the UK for a further year after five staff were at the centre of a row.

Read more...

Record year for exports to China

31 January 2014 (Scottish Government)

Exports from Scotland to China were at their highest ever level in 2013, totalling almost £560 million.

Latest figures from the Global Connections Survey have shown a rise in food and drink exports and in sectors such as chemicals and engineering, contributing to a total increase of 30 per cent from the previous year.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the new figures in his Chinese new year message heralding the arrival of the year of the horse, noting that ‘the strength of the ties’ between Scotland and China will allow the solid economic link between the two countries to continue to flourish for decades to come.

Mandarin in Edinburgh Schools

30 January 2014 (Edinburgh City Council)

During a ministerial visit to Tynecastle yesterday on Thursday 30th January, British Council and Scottish Government promoted foreign language assistants. Dr Alasdair Allan, Minster for Skills and Lifelong Learning (including 1 + 2 languages) met with  Mei Ling, Chinese Language Assistant who taught a S1 class. 

Donna McGinley, CL Modern Languages for Edinburgh City Council on Monday, was interviewed.

Mei Ling was recorded for BBC Radio Scotland and the link to the broadcast is below.


Read more...

Student blog – Peter Reid’s Pupil Immersion Visit to China, Tianjin Summer Camp 2013

30 January 2014 (Engage for Education)

Peter Reid was one of the senior pupils who represented the Edinburgh Confucius Classroom hub at the 2013 Pupil Immersion Visit to Beijing and Tianjin. This is an annual visit organised by the Tianjin Education Commission (TEC) and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), based at the University of Strathclyde, which aims to develop young people’s understanding of Chinese culture and language. The group visits many Chinese, historic monuments and takes part in cultural lessons and intensive Mandarin language classes, for which the young people receive SQA accreditation.

Read more...

FC Barcelona celebrates the Chinese New Year with a special video featuring the first team players

28 January 2014 (FC Barcelona)

Neymar, Piqué, Pedro and Sergi Roberto thank the Club’s Chinese fans for their support and welcome in the Chinese New Year, which is on January 31.

It’s the third year on the run that the Barça players have taken part in what is the Chinese people’s most important celebration, which this year ushers in the Year of the Horse.

Barça’s links with the Asian giant are increasing all the time and the Chinese language web site is now the second most important at the Club in terms of visits made.

Read more...

How to teach … Chinese New Year

27 January 2014 (Guardian)

From making paper lanterns to learning about the culture and language of China, Chinese New Year lends itself to many vibrant classroom activities.

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A Chinese New Year story for children

27 January 2014 (GrowStoryGrow)

A video, lesson plan and resources to support this Chinese New Year story for young learners.

Read more...

Chinese New Year 2014

24 January 2014 (CISS)

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in the Chinese Calender. On 31st January 2014 we will say goodbye to the year of the snake and welcome the year of the horse.

Visit the CISS Chinese New Year 2014 page for ideas and resources to introduce the year of the horse to your classroom.

This page will be live from 5pm on Friday 24th January.

Read more...

China Lecture Series Winter/Spring 2014

20 January 2014 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The spring programme for the China Lecture Series 2013-14 at the Confucius Institute for Scotland has been published.

Read more...

Apply now for a Language Assistant - Bring language and culture alive with a native speaker in the classroom

17 January 2014 (British Council)

Support implementation of the 1 + 2 languages policy by hosting a Language Assistant in your school.

The British Council team is on hand at every step and our dedicated online support offers everything you need to get your pupils’ learning experience off to a great start. Our free service includes careful selection of the best candidate to suit your school, guidance on administration and training courses for Language Assistants.

How can Language Assistants help?

Their responsibilities can be tailored to suit your school’s requirements. Assistants can support the teaching of a first (L2) or a second (L3) modern language by: 

  • supporting teachers’ language acquisition and improving their cultural knowledge
  • developing lesson plans and delivering classes on topics to complement different subject areas 
  • running extra-curricular activities for additional support (eg lunch time clubs) 
  • working across different areas of the Curriculum for Excellence to develop projects based on cultural themes 
  • setting up an international partnership with a school overseas.

Where are they from?

Assistants are native-level speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. They come from 15 countries in Europe and beyond.

You can also apply for a Chinese Language Assistant for free (by 31 January) or at a heavily subsidised rate (by 28 March). They work from mid-September 2014 to 26 June 2015.

What do I do next?

Visit our website to find out more about the programme and apply. If you are a local authority school, your local authority should apply on your behalf.

You can also read an assistant’s blog on her experience of teaching French in an Angus primary school.

Read more...

Edinburgh Zoo and SCILT's short story competition

17 January 2014 (Edinburgh Zoo/SCILT)

Open to any P5-P7 pupils who have studied Chinese culture and/or some Chinese. 

A little reminder that the short story competition deadline is 31st January 2014.

Please do support this competition. The winning entry will be presented to the Chinese Consulate. Also the story will be translated (or subtitles added to a video etc) into Chinese and Gaelic. In addition there will be a small token prize for the group or class from Edinburgh Zoo.

Please remember that the story is a class entry but can take any format - it could even be of a mixed format - allowing the whole class to be involved. If it easier to work in smaller groups then we will accept up to 5 entries from the one class.  Criteria - a short story, video, presentation on anything about China, Chinese culture and/or the giant panda.

It also doesn't have to be very long - we are looking for quality and not quantity!

For example:

  • a short story 
  • 3-5 minute video 
  • short Powerpoint presentation 
  • set of drawings/pictures/photographs with descriptions/anecdotes

Entries can be sent as jpegs; Powerpoint presentations; videos; etc and can be emailed to this address or sent by post on CD Roms/DVD to the address below.

Similarly, written material can be emailed as pdf or word documents or sent by post to the address below.

Sandie Robb 罗桑迪
Senior Education Officer, Discovery & Learning,
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland 苏格兰皇家动物协会
134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS

tel: 0131 314 0335, mobile: 07963 070654

Performance of Nanjing Little Red Flower Art Troupe

16 January 2014 (CISS)

In celebration of Chinese New Year 2014, the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools is delighted to offer you the unique opportunity to attend a performance by the world famous Nanjing Little Red Flower Art Troupe. The troupe comes from one of China's first children's art institutions to combine formal education with artistic performance. They have won various awards at national and local children's dance and music competitions, and toured over 20 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, America and Africa.

We are inviting pupils, teachers and members of the public to attend for free. Please join us to experience this magical performance of traditional Chinese dance and music.  Details are on the attached invitation.

To secure a place at this event please register by completing the attached booking form and return it to katie.hawkins@strath.ac.uk by Friday 31st January. Please note that there are two forms, one for schools and one for individuals.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, SCILT news

Year of the Horse - Education Pack

15 January 2014 (British Council)

Introduce pupils to the differences and similarities between the lives, languages and cultures of people in China and the UK with the Year of the Horse education pack from the British Council.

The Chinese Spring Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations begin on 31 January, when according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we will enter the Year of the Horse.
 
Our education pack for UK primary schools educates young people about the world around them and gives them an understanding of other countries and cultures in preparation for life as global citizens.

Read more...

Mandarin immersion course for teachers July 2014

10 January 2014 (CISS)

CISS will be running a Mandarin immersion course for teachers in Scotland this summer in partnership with the Tianjin Education Commission and Hanban. This course is suitable for primary or secondary teachers who are looking to teach beginners’ level Mandarin Chinese or introduce Chinese/China in their schools.

The course will take place in Tianjin between the 12th and 27th July 2014.

All costs for tuition, accommodation and food (3 meals a day) will be covered. In order to ease organisation, CISS will book flights and arrange visas for all participants but we will not cover the cost of this. The estimated cost for flights and visas will be roughly £1000. Participants will also be responsible for the cost of their own insurance.

To register for this course, please email katie.hawkins@strath.ac.uk by Friday 31 January.

Ni hao ma? Children as young as five set the pace with a love for Mandarin

26 December 2013 (The Independent)

Children as young as five are already learning Mandarin in British schools, as David Cameron pushes for it to replace French and German in classrooms across the country.

Pupils at RJ Mitchell Primary in Elm Park, Havering, north London, are among the first of their age group to have the lessons. The numbers learning Mandarin are set to swell in the new year as other schools react to the Prime Minister’s exhortation this month to make it the main modern foreign language in schools.

Read more...

British students urged: Go to China to boost job hopes

18 December 2013 (Newsbeat)

There has been a rise in the number of British people going to study in China over the past five years. The number of British students going to study in the country has risen from 3,174 to 4,250.

A charity has told Newsbeat even more young people should consider it in an effort to boost their job chances. China is already the world's second biggest economy and is expected to overtake the US in the future.

The British Council says the the UK still lags behind countries like France when it comes to sending students east.

Read more...

Pupils as young as four to be taught Chinese

16 December 2013 (Edinburgh Evening News)

Children as young as four will be given lessons in ­Mandarin under radical plans to equip them for a world in which China is an emerging superpower.

The drive will see dozens of native Chinese speakers from Edinburgh University visit classrooms across the Capital and East Lothian as teachers bid to spark an enduring ­interest in foreign languages.

Co-ordinated by the ­Scotland-China Education Network, the programme is being rolled out as the Scottish Government works towards a target of having every child learn two foreign languages on top of their mother tongue, with the first taken in P1 and the second by P5.

Read more...

Related Links

Chinese classes P1 for pupils (The Herald, 17 December 2013)

Chinese Language Assistants

13 December 2013 (British Council)

Chinese Language Assistants are native-level speakers of Mandarin. Qualified and experienced teachers in their home country, they bring Chinese language and culture alive in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities. Hosting a Chinese Language Assistant offers the entire school community an opportunity to learn about one of the world’s fastest- growing economies, while gaining language skills and an international perspective. Apply by 31 January 2014.

Read more...

CISS Newsletter Autumn 2013

12 December 2013 (CISS)

The latest edition of the CISS newsletter has been published. This edition highlights the promotion of Chinese language and culture around the country. Please download the newsletter if you'd like to find out more.

Related Files

The Early Learning of Chinese Project

12 December 2013 (SCEN)

Primary school pupils across East Lothian are currently benefitting from an exciting new language learning initiative co-ordinated by the Scotland-China Education Network (SCEN).

The Early Learning of Chinese project launched in October and will see Chinese speaking students from the University of Edinburgh volunteer their time to help deliver P1 Mandarin lessons between November and the end of the school year. The project is being piloted as part of the Scottish Government's 1+2 language learning proposal, a product of the National Languages Working Group.

Read more...

Related Links

Languages - 'Exotic' Mandarin offered to students as young as 5 (TESS, 13 December 2013)

The 2nd Annual SCEN Youth Summit

12 December 2013 (SCEN)

Over 70 high schools, youth groups and organisations from across Scotland came together at the Gleneagles Hotel on the 27th November 2013 for the second annual youth summit organised by the Scottish-China Education Network (SCEN). As 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's historic 'I Have A Dream' speech, the theme of this year's youth summit was 'Our Dream' with delegates asked to share their aspirations for the future of Chinese language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

Related Links

SCEN Summit At Gleneagles (SCEN, 12 December 2013)

Prince William speaks Mandarin as he joins David Beckham in wildlife campaign to Chinese

6 December 2013 (Daily Express)

Prince William joined David Beckham and NBA basketball star Yao Ming in appealing to Chinese parents to think of their children and save endangered wildlife in a video message today.

Read more...

Calligraphy and Chinese Brush Painting Classes Jan-Mar 2014

5 December 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Discover the artistry of Chinese brush writing and painting with Scotland`s leading Chinese artist, ZHANG Chi. This 10 week evening class begins on 21 January 2014.

Visit the Confucius Institute Scotland website for more information.

Read more...

David Cameron urges British students to ditch French and learn Mandarin

5 December 2013 (The Guardian)

David Cameron, who has notoriously poor schoolboy French, is urging today's youngsters to abandon the language of Molière and Voltaire to concentrate on the tongue of the future – Mandarin.

In a parting shot, as he left China after a three-day visit, the prime minister said that pupils should look beyond the traditional French and German lessons and instead focus on China.

To reinforce his message the prime minister quoted Nelson Mandela, who said learning someone else's language is the best way to their heart. Cameron said: "I want Britain linked up to the world's fast-growing economies. And that includes our young people learning the languages to seal tomorrow's business deals.

Read more...

UK-China higher education links strengthened

4 December 2013 (British Council)

British Council Chief Executive, Martin Davidson CMG, hosted an event at the UK-China Business Summit in Beijing for the launch of the ‘Generation UK CEO Initiative’ and signing of a number of UK-China education partnership agreements. The ‘Generation UK & Celebrating UK-China Education Partnerships’ event brought together a mixed audience of education and business leaders to celebrate several initiatives further supporting student mobility and educational exchanges between the UK and China.  

The Generation UK CEO Initiative was launched to gain the help and support of businesses in the UK and China to further expand the number of opportunities available for students through the British Council’s Generation UK campaign. Generation UK was launched in June this year with support from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and aims to see at least 15,000 UK students participate in academic study or work experience programmes in China over the next 3 years.

Read more...

World Confucius Classroom of the Year

3 December 2013 (St Ninian's High School)

Following the success of winning the Scottish Confucious Classroom of the Year we are delighted to announce that the East Renfrewshire Confucius Classroom which has its foundation in St Ninian’s has won the Hanban World Confucius Classroom of the Year Award 2013. This is from more than 500 entries worldwide.

The Confucius Hub aims to promote Chinese language and culture. Within St Ninian’s, pupils have experienced numerous Chinese activities such as the China Week, Mandarin classes, Tai Chi lessons, Chinese dance, cookery lessons, lantern making, Chinese chess and a Chinese art project.

Read more...

Related Links

East Ren Chinese hub among world’s top ten (Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra, 3 December 2013)

World Confucius Classroom Hub of the Year (Engage for Education, 8 December 2013)

Why the future could well be Mandarin

2 December 2013 (The Yorkshire Post)

The number of people learning Chinese is growing all the time. Chris Bond visited a language academy in Leeds to find out more.

Housed in the middle of a business park on the edge of Leeds city centre the Confucius Language Academy doesn’t look too promising from the outside. But inside it’s a different story where the principal and managing director Tony Xu is waiting with a welcoming smile and a refreshing cup of tea, orcha. “Here you are in a bit of China so we drink Chinese tea,” he says jovially.

He has good reason to be happy. Since setting up his Chinese language academy in 2008 he’s gone from teaching 15 students to running a successful business that has around 200 pupils on its books.

Read more...

Dr Allan blog - the SCEN event

29 November 2013 (Engage for Education blog)

The Scotland-China Education Network (SCEN) plays a vital role in maintaining links with this country and the world’s most populous, with a particular emphasis on what we can learn from each other at school level.

I have been very pleased to see the great enthusiasm of many young people from around Scotland for learning about China and Chinese, particularly in the context of our ambitious languages agenda.

Read more...

Music and Mandarin

20 November 2013 (Create Your World Book blog)

Melody and rhythm are important to learning a tonal language like Mandarin, but learning a tonal language through music is not the same as learning a non-tonal language like French. Listening to the language’s melody is critically important if you want to learn correct pronunciation or understand natural speech, but real ‘music’ – as in songs – is somewhat less helpful (although not useless) in learning pronunciation than it is in other languages.

I think about melody and music much more in learning Mandarin than I ever have when learning any other language. Scientific research has also confirmed that tonal languages share space with musical memory in the brain. In this post, I would like to share the many ways that thinking musically will help you advance in Mandarin, as well as how to (and how not to) use songs as part of your language learning.

Read more...

Shortfall in the languages the UK needs the most

20 November 2013 (The Guardian)

Three-quarters of the UK public are unable to speak one of the 10 most important languages for the country's future, a British Council report has found.

The British Council has called on government and business to work together to develop educational policy and priorities relating to languages. This follows a YouGov poll commissioned by the British Council, which found that of 4000 UK adults polled, 75% are unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted as crucial to the UK's economic standing.

The Languages for the Future report identified those languages, in order of importance, as: Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese.

Read more...

Related Links

Read the British Council report here.

'Alarming shortage' of foreign language skills in UK (BBC, 20 November 2013)

UK warned over shortage of foreign language speakers (BBC News, 20 November 2013) - includes a link to audio item 'But why are British students so behind with foreign language skills?' BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast reporter Rowan Bridge visited language teachers and students at Manchester College to find out.  (Available to listen to until Wednesday 27 November 2013).

Britons are told they must learn languages of success (The Herald, 20 November 2013)

Arabic beats French, Mandarin beats German and Spanish is best: UK's international education body highlights most important foreign languages to learn (The Independent, 20 November 2013)

Poor Language Skills 'Hampering UK Economy' (Sky News, 20 November 2013)

Languages must be as important as maths and science, British Council says (TES News blog, 20 November 2013)

Languages - Gift of bilingualism is too often 'squandered' (TES, 22 November 2013)

Winter Chinese Classes Jan-Mar 2014

19 November 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The winter semester 2014 at the Confucius Institute for Scotland will start on Monday, 20 Jan 2014. The institute offers a wide range of classes from beginners courses to advanced levels in this new semester.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Demystifying China in the ‘Venice of the East’

18 November 2013 (British Council)

James Coop, a Graduate in BSc Computer Science at Cardiff University, talks about his experience as an English Language Assistant in Suzhou, China.

Perhaps his experience will inspire you to become an ELA too. You can apply to China or one of the other 13 countries on offer by 2 December 2013.

Read more...

Related Links

Beyond sushi: the attractions of lecturing in Japan (THE, 14 November 2013) - Susan K Burton looks back at her time teaching at Japanese universities and wonders why more Westerners don’t head east.

¿Qué hora es? – El tiempo pasa volando

10 November 2013 (neiljones.org)

The resources attached to this post are linked to teaching the time in Spanish to beginners. In slides 22 and 59 there are links to some great websites where you can get some interactive practice taking place. The site contains a variety of resources and teaching ideas for secondary Spanish and French, with a small section on teaching numbers in Mandarin Chinese.

Read more...

Chinese TV - “Dad, where shall we go?”

6 November 2013 (YouTube)

A Chinese TV programme, on YouTube, which gives insight into China and the Chinese and is very good for pupils who may not know a lot about China even if they have a Chinese background.

There are subtitles all the way through so it is suitable for many types of classes/teachers/pupils. It is a TV series called: “Dad, where shall we go?” Children and their fathers are followed in various places in China. The programme aims to develop the independence of the child, to develop them as responsible citizens and get them to think and stand on their own two feet.

Follow the link below to the first episode of 爸爸去哪儿

Read more...

Scottish Confucius Institute established at Heriot-Watt University

05 November 2013 (Heriot-Watt University)

Scotland's educational links with China have been taken to the next level, after an agreement was struck to establish a Confucius Institute at Heriot-Watt University, the first to specialise in business and communication.

The Institute, the fifth Confucius Institute in Scotland, will aim to help Scottish companies to engage with China and increase the provision of Chinese language learning for business purposes.

Read more...

In Spain, even toddlers learn Chinese for job hopes

03 November 2013 (The Journal)

“Xiang jiao! Banana!” says Fu Huijuan, beaming as she waves the fruit in front of her three-year-old pupil, Leon, at a Madrid nursery school.

He and his four classmates have barely learned to speak even in their native Spanish, but already they are absorbing Mandarin Chinese – as are many adult Spaniards concerned for their job prospects.

Read more...

GrowStoryGrow

1 November 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

GrowStoryGrow is launching 50 new bite-sized stories in 6 different languages in summer 2014.

Find out more on the GrowStoryGrow website. 

Read more...

Related Links

On the website you will also find a story for Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day, available for free until the end of November.   Visit GrowStoryGrow.

Trend of Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5

01 November 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have produced a document with statistics on Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5 from 2009-2013. This is in addition to the statistics previously published:
 
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in French, German and Spanish
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in the lesser studied languages (Italian, Gaelic for Learners, Mandarin, Urdu and Russian)

Visit our Statistics on languages in Scotland page to download the PDFs.

Meet the Australian children fluent in Mandarin

29 October 2013 (BBC News)

Australia's politicians often talk about the importance of building ties with Asia. Successive governments have promised to increase the number of schools teaching Asian languages, but in fact the number of children in high school learning Asian languages is falling. The BBC's Jon Donnison has been to one of the country's few bilingual schools.

Read more...

Boris Johnson: ‘Teach Mandarin in UK schools’

16 October 2013 (The Scotsman)

British children should be taught the Chinese language Mandarin as standard in schools, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson, who is studying Mandarin himself, suggested Britons should be learning as much as possible about China as the East Asian giant continues to expand its global influence.

Read more...

Dragon premieres at the Citizens Theatre

15 October 2013 (CISS)

In conjunction with the Confucius Institute at Glasgow University, CISS was given the opportunity to take 350 pupils from all over Scotland to see the premiere of the play Dragon at the Citizens Theatre. This wonderful co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland, Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre and Vox Motus is highly unusual given that there are no words spoken throughout the play. The audience is invited to take a visual and emotional journey using their imagination. The use of puppetry, illusion and music allows this to happen.

Read more...

Related Files

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition 2013-14

10 October 2013 (British Council)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the HSBC/BC Mandarin Speaking Competition 2013-2014.

Motivate your students with a trip to Beijing!

Enter your students into the HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition for a chance to visit the Chinese capital. There are four categories: beginner, intermediate, advanced and group performance. Students can enter regardless of their level of proficiency in Mandarin.

The closing date for entries has been extended to 18 October 2013. Read below for information on eligibility and how to apply.

The prize

The winners from each category will spend a week in Beijing. They will experience the culture by visiting historical sites and interacting with local students and British Council staff from China. The British Council, with over 20 years' experience of running cultural exchanges with China, is responsible for accompanying the group.

Who is eligible?

Secondary schools, sixth form colleges and further education colleges in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Students must be non-native speakers of Chinese.

Visit the British Council website to discover why your school should take part and to read the story of one of last year's winners.  The website also includes top tips on how to prepare a winning entry.

For enquiries please call our Customer Services team on 0161 957 7755 or email chinaschools@britishcouncil.org.

Read more...

Mandarin: 120 primaries to get support to introduce lessons

7 October 2013 (TES)

(Relates to England) There may now be some welcome good news for those hoping to put Mandarin on the timetable. The Confucious Institute, based at London’s Institute of Education, is launching a new programme which hopes to bring Mandarin to 120 primary schools over five years.

Read more...

CISS 2013-14 professional learning menu now available!

4 October 2013 (SCILT/CISS)

Are you a teacher of Mandarin?  
Are you a teacher considering introducing Mandarin into your school?  

The new Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools professional learning menu offers a variety of workshops to help you introduce, develop and embed Chinese language learning across the 3-18 curriculum. Relevant to practitioners in all sectors, the workshops draw on good practice from across the country and offer an opportunity for professional dialogue and the sharing of ideas and materials. Whether you are an experienced teacher of Mandarin looking for help with the senior phase, or you are just getting started and are looking for practical ways of introducing Chinese culture and language into your class, the CISS team is here to help!

Visit the CISS professional development page to view the 'Chinese Learning - let's work together' menu.

Word Wizard competition now launched!

4 October 2013 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new spelling competition, Word Wizard! This competition is aimed at encouraging S1-S3 pupils, studying French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic, to learn vocabulary, and have fun at the same time. More details on the competition, and information on how to register your interest, are now available on the Word Wizard page on our website.

Read more...

HSK Exam Registration Open

3 October 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The next exam diet of HSK at the Confucius Institute for Scotland will take place on Saturday, 30th November 2013. The exam registration is now open.  Apply by 31 October 2013.

Read more...

National Day of the People's Republic of China

1 October 2013 (Wikipedia)

The National Day of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 国庆节; traditional Chinese: 國慶節; pinyin: guóqìng jié) is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People's Republic of China to celebrate their national day.  The day kicks off one of the two Golden Weeks--or full national holidays--that China has in its calendar and is celebrated, as many other holidays in China, with great fireworks displays.

Read more...

Foreign Office beefs up diplomats' language training

30 September 2013 (The Guardian)

Language centre provides a permanent location where staff undergo intensive training to prepare for overseas postings.

Read more...

Salmond opens Confucius Institute at Aberdeen Uni

27 September 2013 (The Scotsman)

A new Confucius Institute was today officially opened at Aberdeen University by First Minister Alex Salmond to help promote educational, economic, and cultural links between China and the North east of Scotland.

The First Minister was joined at the ceremony by senior representatives of the UK Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Consulate in Scotland, and Wuhan University in China.

Read more...

We speak your language, English clubs tell foreign fans

26 September 2013 (Reuters)

Manchester City and Liverpool announced an expansion of their social media presence on Thursday with more local language websites and Twitter accounts to cater for a growing international fan base.

Abu Dhabi-owned City launched 10 new Twitter accounts in addition to existing feeds in English and Arabic to engage with supporters in Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Read more...

Statistics on language uptake and attainment

24 September 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have produced two documents with statistics on language uptake and attainment at Higher grade from 2008-2013. One provides statistics on French-German-Spanish and one on lesser studied modern languages (Italian, Gaelic learners, Urdu, Mandarin). 

Visit our Statistics on languages in Scotland page to download the PDFs.

Free Films on Friday Programme

19 September 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Chinese films will be shown at 2 pm on Friday afternoons in the Language and Humanities Centre, room 1.01, 14 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh.

For full details of the programme visit the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

SCA Glasgow and Edinburgh Events 2013-14

17 September 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The 2013-2014 programme for meetings of the Glasgow and Edinburgh Branches of the Scotland China Association has now been confirmed.

Follow the links for full programme details:

Read more...

Confucius Lecture Series 2013-14

17 September 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Confucius Lecture Series 2013-2014 will be launched on Thursday 19 September 2013. A full programme of the lecture series is now available. All welcome.

Read more...

Word Wizard Competition! New for school session 2013-2014

17 September 2013 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that our brand new spelling competition, Word Wizard, will be launched very shortly.

This competition is aimed at encouraging S1- S3 pupils, studying French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic, to learn vocabulary, and have fun at the same time.

If you want to motivate your pupils, and take part in this new initiative, watch this space for details of how to register.

GrowStoryGrow

17 September 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

Every year, to help celebrate the European Day of Languages, GrowStoryGrow opens up its site for two weeks allowing children all over the world to experience over a hundred enchanting stories, in 5 different languages, for free.

Visit the website for further information and to access the materials.

Read more...

Mid-Autumn Festival: China Education Pack

16 September 2013 (British Council)

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is the second most important festival in the Chinese lunar calendar after Chinese New Year. This year the festival will fall on 19 September.

To tie in with the festival, the British Council has created an education pack to help primary schools across the UK explore Chinese culture and language.

Focusing on the most famous story associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival, the legend of the great archer Hòu Yì and his love for the moon goddess Cháng É, the pack is designed to introduce young people to Chinese festivals, legends and geography.

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Chinese infusion

13 September 2013 (TES)

As concerns mount over school language learning, one academy is lifting Mandarin off the page by steeping the curriculum in Chinese culture and even insisting that staff attend lessons. Irena Barker finds out how this immersive way of teaching works.

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This year’s Summer Bridge Pupil Immersion Camp in China

6 September 2013 (Engage for Education/CISS)

In July a group of 79 pupils and teachers from across Scotland set off on an unforgettable trip to China. Organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, and funded by Scottish Government, Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) and the Tianjin Education Commission; the trip gave pupils from Confucius Classroom Hubs the opportunity to spend an intensive 18 days studying Mandarin and experiencing Chinese culture in Beijing and Tianjin.

At the end of their stay they all obtained SQA accreditation and a YCT (Youth Chinese Test) Certificate. The Tianjin Education Commission were so impressed with the group that they have offered a number of scholarships to Scottish young people to study Chinese in Tianjin for a year. It wasn’t, however, all hard work, the group had the chance to meet some fantastic people, eat some delicious food and visit some famous sights, such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Olympic Park. They also had the unique opportunity to spend time with their partner schools and in Chinese homes. The trip culminated in a closing ceremony for children from all over the UK. The young people performed in front of hundreds of people and participated in a poster competition in which pupils from the East Renfrewshire Confucius hub took first place. It was a memorable trip for all involved and goes a long way to strengthening existing relations between China and Scotland.

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How to teach … Chinese

2 September 2013 (The Guardian)

This week the Guardian Teacher Network has resources for pupils and teachers to help with learning and teaching Mandarin Chinese.

There are lots of useful materials and tips from various sources including Pete Goodman of Bamboo Learning.

The British Council's new pack exploring the Chinese mid-Autumn festival (also known as the Moon Festival), which this year falls on 19 September, will be available on Schoolsonline before the festival begins. The Confucius Institute at Manchester University has also shared their lovely PowerPoint on the stories of the Chinese Moon Festival.

Read more...

Calligraphy and Chinese Brush Painting Classes September- November 2013

29 August 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

As autumn comes to Scotland we are pleased to offer two ten week courses for those keen to start or continue to develop their artistic calligraphy/brush painting skills.

The two courses offered in autumn are Calligraphy and Chinese Brush Painting Beginners Course and Calligraphy and Chinese Brush Painting Advanced Course.

Read more...

Mandarin Explorer

27 August 2013 (Mandarin Explorer)

'Mandarin Explorer' is a platform for learners of Mandarin that is created & owned by Gabriella Belcher, an experienced Mandarin teacher based in Hong Kong. These visual tools are designed for Mandarin teachers & learners.

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New BBC Bitesize material for National 4 and 5

22 August 2013 (BBC)

New materials for National 4 and 5 covering a variety of subjects including Gaelic. Other MFL materials are available under KS1/KS2/KS3 and GCSE sections for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

Read more...

Chinese Pupils from Tianjin No.42 High School visit St Ninian's High School

2 August 2013 (East Dunbartonshire Council)

A group of 33 pupils and 5 teachers, led by the school’s Director, Mr Hongjie Liu, during their tour of the UK are visiting our East Dunbartonshire Council Confucius Hub, based in St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch. This visit will further deepen the partnership between the two schools, St Ninian's HS and Number 42 High School, Tianjin.

Read more...

Visual Literacy: Using Film to Teach Languages

2 August 2013 (Routes Into Languages)

 

How can going to the movies help students gain a better understanding of other languages and cultures?

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One Week Intensive Classes - Chinese

25 July 2013 (SCEN)

The Confucius Institute in Glasgow is now offering one-week intensive classes from 5th to 9th August 2013 at 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm for various levels.

Registration is now open. For further information and how to enrol visit the SCEN website.

Read more...

China Colourful at the Fringe

25 July 2013 (SCEN)

At the Edinburgh Fringe during week commencing 5 August Beijing Students Golden Sail Art Troupe will be performing a packed and spectacularly varied programme combining the finest traditional Chinese dance and music with a diverse array of international styles, delivered with passion and exuberance by Beijing's rising dance and music young talents.

For further details and to request your free ticket, visit the SCEN website.

Read more...

Learning in China and in Scotland

25 July 2013 (SCEN)

Output from the SCEN and Confucius Institute for Scotland event, Learning in China and in Scotland, held at the Playfair Library on 14 June is now available on the SCEN website, including the video message sent by Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Read more...

A slice of Mandarin

18 July 2013 (East Renfrewshire Council)

Cultural kids celebrated all things Oriental at a special event.

The showcase was organised to mark a successful schools programme in Chinese language and culture.

East Renfrewshire pupils who have been taking part in the programme put on performances of dance, song and mime.

There were also workshops offering the chance to find out more about Chinese culture, and Oriental delicacies were served up.

Read more...

Chinese cultural partnership

25 June 2013 (Scottish Government)

Scotland’s External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf has announced a cultural partnership between the cities of Edinburgh and Nanjing.

The partnership will see a major exhibition, A Tale of Two Cities, staged firstly in Nanjing between November 5, 2013 and May 5, 2014 and then in Edinburgh. The date of the Edinburgh exhibition is still to be confirmed

Speaking in Beijing, Mr Yousaf said:

“It is a great honour that Scotland has been chosen for this exhibition, which is one of the first full curatorial partnerships to be established between a Chinese museum and an institution from another country.

“Scotland and China both share a strong appreciation for cultural heritage, and this exhibition will enable people in both countries to find out more about our respective cultures and history."

Read more...

Put Chinese lessons on timetable, MSPs urge

23 June 2013 (The Scotsman)

Pupils across Scotland should start learning Cantonese or Mandarin at primary school as part of a long-term drive to forge closer links with China, according to MSPs.

The Chinese market holds the same economic opportunity as America did 100 years ago and Scotland would be at a “serious disadvantage” if it ignores this, a report by Holyrood’s external affairs committee has found.

The Scottish Government has a target of doubling the number of pupils gaining qualifications in Chinese language from the 2011-12 level by 2017.

Read more...

Volunteer Extras for The Tragedy of Coriolanus

19 June 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Edinburgh International Festival is looking for performers to join the Beijing People`s Art Theatre as volunteer extras for their production of /The Tragedy of Coriolanus/ at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival. If you are based in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas and fit the criteria below, please send a CV and recent photograph to extras@eif.co.uk by *Friday 28th June 2013*

Men and women, playing age range 18-45, ideally of Chinese origin, strong, in good physical condition with good mobility.

Dates: auditions on 7th /8th July and rehearsals and performances on the 19th August, 20th August and 21st August 2013.

Limited expenses will be offered.

Read more...

Bucking the languages trend

13 June 2013 (SecEd)

In the midst of a decline in foreign language learning in Scotland, some schools are inspiring young people to buck the trend. Sam Phipps finds out how.

 

Read more...

Press release: British Council launches campaign for 15,000 UK students to go to China

11 June 2013 (British Council)

The British Council has launched a new UK-wide campaign to encourage and support student mobility to China, known as ‘Generation UK’.

The campaign aim is for at least 15,000 UK students to either study or gain work experience in China by 2016. Underlining the British Council’s ongoing commitment to promoting international opportunities to students across the UK, the goal of Generation UK is to create a new generation of more globally, culturally and business aware young people.

Read more...

Summer Classes July-August

5 June 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

We are going to offer a range of Chinese courses in our summer semester this year.

For complete beginners with little or no knowledge of Chinese language, we are offering a 5-week Intensive Chinese Beginners Course running on Mondays and Thursday from 8th July to 8th August.

If you are interested in Chinese characters, you can join our Chinese character introductory course running on Thursdays from 11th July for 5 weeks.

Read more...

Tennis - Novak Djokovic says learning Chinese language is difficult

31 May 2013 (Tennis World)

Tennis - Novak Djokovic is the world's top ranked player and quite good when it comes to playing tennis. But the Serb is also pretty good when it comes to speaking languages.

The Serb revealed his love for the languages during his press conference on Thursday.

 

Read more...

Connecting Classrooms - UK/China School Partnerships

21 May 2013 (British Council)

Looking for funding for your UK/China partnership, or interested in starting one? Find out more about partnering with China at our webinar on 30 May at 12pm.

Visit the website for further details and how to join the webinar.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda

17 May 2013 (Edinburgh Zoo)

This three part outreach programme from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is aimed at pupils in P5-P7 and will give them the opportunity to find out more about China and the Society's conservation work as they look at the following topics:

  • The Panda—Learning about the giant panda
  • China—Discovering China - past and present
  • Our World—Taking action in our world

The programme costs £100 which includes a 2 hour workshop, resource pack and additional support. Discounts are available if schools book two workshops. For full details of the programme, please download the Beyond the Panda pdf file or contact Sandie Robb, srobb@rzss.org.uk

This programme is run in partnership with CISS, SCEN, other Confucius Institutes and Confucius Hubs.

Related Files

YCP Scotland Survey 苏格兰华人青年问卷调查

14 May 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Young Chinese Professionals (YCP) is currently conducting a nationwide survey of which the Confucius Institute for Scotland is the main sponsor.

The YCP Scotland Survey is for all Chinese professionals including professional students. The aim of the survey is to collect information and views on living and working in Scotland with the aim of developing further relevant and enhanced services between YCP and its community.

If you as a Chinese professional would like to give your views, please visit YCP Scotland or email survey@ycp-scotland.com

Read more...

China UK Entrepreneurship Competition

14 May 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Open to both University teams and existing businesses, the 2013 China UK Entrepreneurship Competition, which has a registration deadline of 27 May offers potential insights, contacts, prize money and investment.

Read more...

New assembly packs - Exam stress

14 May 2013 (BBC World Class)

See our new assembly packs for primary and secondary pupils. The packs contain scripts for teachers alongside a World Class film called 'Gaokao fever,' which is about the notoriously difficult Gaokao exams in China.

Read more...

How do you deal with exam stress?

14 May 2013 (BBC World Class)

Visit our debate page and watch films which feature students in China and the UK preparing for their exams.

Join BBC World Class on Thursday 16 May from 1100-1300 BST to get your pupils involved in our online debate with other schools around the world.

Read more...

Students go abroad to immerse themselves in a new culture

14 May 2013 (The Guardian)

UK universities are setting up campuses overseas to meet international demand, but studying on a foreign campus also has many benefits for UK students.

Read more...

Latest edition of CISS newsletter published

13 May 2013 (SCILT / CISS)

The Spring 2013 edition of the CISS newsletter has been published. This edition showcases some of the exciting events that happened across Scotland to celebrate Chinese New Year, as well as some of the work being done in early years, primary and secondary schools to promote Chinese.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, SCILT news

Song for Europe… from China!

13 May 2013 (FluentU)

This a catchy tune which might suit Intermediate 2 or Higher level pupils – or even lower levels if the lyrics were printed out for the pupils.

Read more...

Chinese Character Course from 30 May

12 May 2013 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

Join us for a 5-week Chinese character introductory course on Thursday evenings from 30 May to 27 June 2013. This course is designed for beginners with an interest in Chinese characters. The course will be taught in English.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Language Summer School

9 May 2013 (London School of Economics)

Launched in Summer 2011 our Summer Language Programme is a range of, short but sweet Arabic, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish courses. Each year the programme has grown to include more languages, levels and courses of different levels of intensity.

Courses run at various times throughout July and August each year.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Distance Learning Graduate Diplomas for teachers in Spanish, French and German

7 May 2013 (University of Dundee)

In response to the growing need for Spanish teachers in the UK and worldwide in Primary, Secondary, Further and Adult Education, the University of Dundee in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education in the UK are pleased to offer a Diploma in Spanish for Teachers by Distance Learning.

The Diploma offers many advantages in that it allows you to study when and where you like, for as long as you like. It is designed to promote a lively, on-line learning community studying the Spanish language and hispanic culture. A high degree of support is provided by native speaker tutors.

The Diploma is recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland and carries a rating of 160 SCOTCAT points (SCQF levels 9-11).

The University also plans to offer similar courses in French, German and Mandarin Chinese from January 2014.

Download the attached flyer for more information or visit the University of Dundee website.

Read more...

New resources to support MFL National 4 and 5

2 May 2013 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland have recently published new resources to support the implementation of National 4 and 5 in Cantonese, French, German, Italian, Mandarin (simplified), Mandarin (traditional), Spanish and Urdu.

To access the materials follow the link below to Glow (you’ll need your Glow password).

Read more...

Number of Chinese language assistants in schools on the rise

1 May 2013 (The Herald)

The number of Chinese language assistants in Scottish schools is on the increase after several years of decline.  The British Council Scotland (BCS) said there had been a doubling of requests from schools for dedicated staff as part of an expansion of Mandarin and Cantonese language learning. This year, there were just five Chinese language assistants working in Scotland with cutbacks blamed for the decline. It was feared numbers might drop further, but councils have so far requested 10 for next year. Although the numbers are small, the impact such assistants can have is significant because they work across a number of schools in a council area.

Read more...

Asos launches ventures in Russia and China as profits leap 19%

30 April 2013 (The Guardian)

Online clothing retailer Asos is launching businesses in Russia and China and planning a new £40m "tax efficient" pay deal for its top 24 staff.  The retailer – which has six million customers in the UK, US, France, Germany and Australia – announced the expansion as it reported a 19% rise in interim profits and a 33% jump in sales to £360m.

The new Chinese-language website, due in October, will cost up to £6m to launch, including a distribution hub with 10% of Asos's current stock.  A new website is launching in Russia on Wednesday.

Read more...

Mandarin blossoms among Scots language pupils

29 April 2013 (Scotsman)

It's difficult, unfamiliar, and far from a traditional educational choice. So why are more Scottish pupils bucking the UK trend and venturing out of their comfort zone to study Mandarin?

Read more...

‘Motivate the demotivated’

26 April 2013 (SCILT)

Looking for ways to inspire and motivate your language students? Using film in the classroom is a great way to combine interdisciplinary learning and generate enthusiasm amongst your pupils for language learning.  These projects were filmed in three different Scottish schools involving pupils from P7 to S6 who worked together to create their own animated movies using skills they developed in Modern Languages, Art and ICT. Have a look at these video clips to see what can be achieved and hear feedback from some of the pupils who took part.

Read more...

Plea to teach Mandarin and Russian in schools

17 April 2013 (John O'Groat Journal)

Scotland is "a dinosaur when it comes to modern languages" according to far north Highland councillor Deirdre Mackay. She believes more people should take a greater interest in learning a foreign language and has given her full support to a pilot project to look at best practice.

Read more...

No snags on this fine silk road

5 April 2013 (TES)

Twelve children from St Luke's Primary in North Ayrshire took centre stage last month at a masterclass in interdisciplinary learning, run by the Tapestry Partnership in Glasgow.

The young people led the audience on a journey along "The Silk Road to Scotland" - the theme of one of Tapestry's interdisciplinary programmes, which explores the links between Eastern Asia, North Africa and Europe created by the trade in silk and other products over thousands of years.

Read more...

A Play, A Pie and A Pint - from China

2 April 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

For the first time since the popular lunchtime theatre programme `A Play, A Pie and A Pint` was launched in 2004, the Confucius Institute, in partnership with Oran Mor and the National Theatre of Scotland is pleased to present two new plays from China at the Bedlam Theatre in April and May.

See the website for more information or download the attached flyers.

Read more...

Related Files

Five week calligraphy course April/May

29 March 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Enrol today for a five week course of Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy on Tuesday evenings running from Tues 16th April to Tues 14th May 2013.

Suitable for both beginners and improvers the classes which run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm are led by the Institute`s experienced calligraphy teacher Chi Zhang.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Experience China 2013

27 March 2013 (CISS)

Hanban is pleased to announce that the application to the immersive teacher training course Experience China 2013 is now open.

The course will be running from July 22nd to August 9th this year for three weeks. It is an introductory course to Chinese language and culture, and is aimed at the secondary and possibly primary teachers who are looking to teach beginner’s level Mandarin Chinese in their schools (secondary placements will have priority.) All in-country costs are generously covered by the office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban); travel and visa costs, however, are not included.

Please find more details and how to apply from the e-flyer attached. The course guide is available on the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools webpage from which you can also read about last year’s Experience China course.

Apply by 19 April 2013.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at meryl.james@strath.ac.uk or chinesenetworks@ioe.ac.uk

Read more...

Related Files

HSK Exam Saturday May 11th

26 March 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The May HSK exam diet offers candidates the choice of online or offline options to secure a Chinese language proficiency certificate. The exam, which runs globally, is offered at 6 levels with level one being appropriate for students who have studied for up to 40 hours.

Register by Thursday 11th April.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

`Chinese Bridge` language competition – three winners for Edinburgh

18 March 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Three fourth year undergrads from the University of Edinburgh swept the boards at the 12th annual `Chinese Bridge` language competition with Meghan Ghent being awarded First Prize, Edijana Obiakpani-Guest receiving 3rd prize and Anitra Williams being awarded best speaker.

Read more...

Related Links

"Chinese Bridge" Starts in UK (CRI, 18 March 2013)
Posted in: HE, Chinese

Chinese teaching growing in US, helped by Beijing

16 March 2013 (Arab News)

Susan Wang couldn’t speak English when she arrived in California from Taiwan, aged 16.
Now 49, she heads a school offering US children a similar experience, plunging them into a Chinese world.  And her establishment is part of a rapid expansion of “immersion” Mandarin language programs in the United States, helped notably by Beijing providing low-cost native-speaker teachers to cash-strapped US schools.

Read more...

Related Links

China encourages language classes in US schools (Raw Story, 16 March 2013)

Chinese Culture and Conversation Corners

6 March 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Our Chinese Culture and Conversation Corners in March take place on the Mezzanine Floor of Appleton Tower on Friday’s from 5pm-7pm. During this month topics will include Chinese Medicine, Chinese Food, Wedding Customs and Chinese Tea. As always there is the opportunity to practice your Chinese with a native speaker - or just to find out about learning Chinese. For more information on the events visit the website.

Read more...

MSP urges teaching of Chinese languages in Scottish classrooms

26th February 2013 (The Courier)

The Scottish Government has been urged to increase the learning of Chinese in Scottish schools to help the youth of today compete for jobs.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Chinese Corner - new location for March 2013

27th February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Every Friday in March 2013, from 5pm-7pm, the Institute`s `Chinese Culture and Conversation Corner` will be held in the University`s Appleton Tower building on the mezzanine floor Room M2A.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Spring Term Courses open for booking

28 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Secure your place now on our spring term Chinese language courses which will start w/b 22 April.
Chinese 1.1. for absolute beginners will run on Monday and Wednesday evenings with Chinese 1.2 running on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

For details of all the courses on offer visit the website.

Read more...

HSK Exam Registration Deadline - 28 Feb

27 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Candidates for the March HSK online exam should ensure that they have registered by 6pm on Thursday 28 February.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

The Fascination of China

26 February 2013 (St George's School for Girls)

St George’s School for Girls has planned an exciting programme of presentations on a variety of topics related to China for interested pupils, teachers and parents over the spring and summer terms. You are warmly invited to attend these talks, which will be free of charge and take place in the Confucius Classroom at St George’s School, Garscube Terrace, Edinburgh from 4.00-5.00pm.

Read more...

Related Files

Chinese Character Class

25th February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh )

Join us for a 6 week evening course starting on Valentine`s Day, 14th February, which will help you begin to understand Chinese characters.

All you need is an interest in Chinese characters and just a little knowledge of Chinese sound system.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Confucius Institute Scholarships to China 2013

25 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Applications are now being sought for the Confucius Institute Scholarship Schemes which are open to candidates age 16-35. If you are currently in post teaching Chinese the upper age limit is extended to 45.

Read more...

By the numbers – Mandarin

22 February 2013 (TES)

With the start of the Chinese Year of the Snake, the place of Mandarin teaching in the UK has come into focus. The new primary curriculum, which is due to be introduced in 2014, will require children to learn at least one of seven languages from the age of 7.  Mandarin is included in the list, but a survey from the British Council warns of a focus on European languages in many schools and a lack of Mandarin teachers in the country.

Read more...

Chinese New Year competition winners

21 February 2013 (British Council)

Congratulations to Balivanich Primary School in Benbecula and Kilbowie Primary Schook in Clydebank who were both winners in the British Council’s Chinese New Year competition. Visit the British Council website for more details of all the winning entries.

Read more...

Chi Zhang Artworks at RSA & Glasgow

20 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

For the second year in a row, the Institute`s Chinese calligraphy and brush painting teacher, Chi Zhang, MSC BA, has had one of his Chinese artworks selected for the prestigious Visual Arts Scotland 2012 Annual Exhibition in the Royal Scottish Academy.

His brush painting entitled `January` is a Scottish contemporary scene created using Chinese brush painting techniques. This popular exhibition is FREE and will run from Friday 1st till 25th March 2013 in the RSA Lower Galleries, The Mound, Edinburgh. Chi Zhang will be in the gallery on Saturday 4th March from 1pm-3pm.

For those who are in Glasgow a solo exhibition of Chi Zhang`s work (both calligraphy and brush painting) is running in Skypark in Glasgow from now until the end of March.

Read more...

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

19 February 2013 (TED blog)

Economist Keith Chen starts today’s talk with an observation: to say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. “All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.” This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?

Read more...

Innovative Learning Week - Chinese Activities

15 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

As part of Innovative Learning Week in the University of Edinburgh there are a number of free events organised by different departments which are focusing on Chinese language and culture.

Read more...

Calligraphy Classes April & May

15 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

A five week programme of evening calligraphy classes, offered from 16 April-14 May 2013, is now available for booking. Suitable for both continuing students and first timers, this ancient art brings its own tranquility, while learning and practicing under the guidance of course leader Chi Zhang.

Read more...

Top 10 – Chinese New Year

15 February 2013 (TES)

Join communities around the world in celebrating Chinese New Year. Our collection of activities and ideas includes dance, films, flashcards and the zodiac.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese, Resources

Lecture by artist Ying Sheng Yang 21st February 2013

12 February 2013 (CISS)

We will be hosting  a lecture by the artist Ying Sheng Yang on the evening of Thursday 21st February in room LH104A of the Lord Hope Building, University of Strathclyde. Ying Sheng Yang will give a presentation on his work,  followed by a discussion. Please see attached flyer for further details about his work and the talk he plans to give, it promises to be a very interesting evening.

To book a place at this event please email  grant.mclean@strath.ac.uk

 

Related Files

Posted in: Chinese

Eric Liddell China Saltire Scholarships

6 February 2013 (Scottish Government)

80 students will receive a £5,000 scholarship to strengthen links between China and Scotland in celebration of one of Scotland’s greatest ever Olympians.

The Eric Liddell China Saltire Scholarships will be available to Chinese students applying for a masters degree at the University of Edinburgh, where Eric Liddell studied. They will also be available to undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh studying for a year abroad in China.

The scholarships will help to build on the existing economic and educational links between Scotland and China.

Read more...

2013 Chinese New Year - The Chinese Lantern Festival

6 February 2013 (Chinese Fortune Calendar)

Find out about the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival, a.k.a. Yuan-Xiao Festival, which is held on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar.  The Lantern Festival is the last day of Chinese New Year festival.

Read more...

Chinese New Year at Edinburgh Zoo

6 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Year of the Snake begins on 10th February so come along to Edinburgh Zoo on Sunday between 11am and 3pm where the Confucius Institute for Scotland staff will run a number of themed arts and crafts workshops.

Over the 15 days of the Spring Festival a wide range of China focused activities are taking place.  More information about these can be found by following the 'Chinese New Year activities' link below.

Read more...

Mandarin competition may lead to study in China

6 February 2013 (British Council)

Nishat Ali writes about her experience of taking part in the HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition, and how winning the contest has changed her life.

Read more...

Chinese Character Class - NEW

5 February 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Join us for a 6 week evening course starting on Valentine`s Day, 14th February, which will help you begin to understand Chinese characters.  All you need is an interest in Chinese characters and just a little knowledge of Chinese sound system.

Read more...

'Some teachers think Mandarin is too challenging'

4 February 2013 (BBC News)

Last year, 73,000 students took GCSE Spanish, and fewer than 3,000 did Mandarin Chinese.
The British Council thinks too few schools are offering Mandarin - currently only about 6%.
Joe Bensley, who teaches at Kingsford Community School in Newham east London, told the Today programme: "There seems to be a national issue with Mandarin stagnating. It is a curiosity because it's so popular at our school. I think the main reason is the fear that lots of head teachers in other schools have that it's too challenging."

Read more...

Related Links

Not enough Mandarin is taught in UK schools, claims report (The Independent, 4 February 2013)

China: Don't Let the Opportunities Get Lost in Translation (Huffington Post, 4 February 2013)

Chinese classes in the UK need more teachers (China Daily, 8 February 2013)

Chinese translation of James Joyce becomes best-seller

31 January 2013 (BBC News)

A Chinese version of James Joyce's novel Finnegan's Wake, which took eight years to translate, has become a surprising hit in the country.

Read more...

Snakes and Dragons Chinese New Year Competition

25 January 2013 (British Council)

Simply answer a question on Chinese New Year for a chance to win a book token for your school.

Read more...

You're never too young to learn Mandarin

January 23 2013 (British Council)

Two UK primary school teachers explain how teaching Mandarin has benefitted learners and teachers alike.

Read more...

China Business Conference - 14 March in London

17 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

March 14th is the date for the China Business Conference 2013 taking place at the QEII Conference Centre in London from 0900-18.00. The provisional programme is now available.

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

China Debate - 21 March 2013

17 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

As China and the world grapple with the emergence of the world`s soon to be largest economy this debate, initiated by SCEN, will take stock of where China is and where it might get to. This question is key to those with a serious interest in international politics and economics, and China.

This free event will be introduced by Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club (The Icebreakers) and MD London Export Corporation. In his introduction he will focus on the topic `Can China Complete its Rise? The Challenges`

Read more...

Posted in: Chinese

Chinese New Year Packs

15 January 2013 (Chinese Made Easy)

CME Books Europe are distributing (on behalf of Dragons in Europe) packs to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the snake.  For more details and to order please see attached document.

Related Files

British Council China Education Pack

14 January 2012 (British Council)

The ‘Snakes and Dragons’ Education Pack is a free resource for UK Primary Schools that is available to download from the British Council Schools Online website. With a specific focus on China and Chinese culture, the (physical) pack is designed to support UK young peoples’ education about the world around them and to help them gain an understanding of other countries and cultures in preparation for life as global citizens.

British Council have made this pack because they believe that given China is the world's second biggest economy - and set to continue that upward trajectory - a good understanding of China will help prepare our young people for life in a global society and work in a global economy. Of course, China is just one of many countries that our children will need to understand and be able to engage with in their future lives and many UK schools are already involved in international education work through programmes like Comenius, Connecting Classrooms, Language Assistants, or the International School Award. More information about these programmes can be found at the Schools Online website as well as many other resources that support teaching and learning about global citizenship.

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Additional beginners Chinese class now available

9 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Due to high demand we have now arranged an additional beginners Chinese class on Thursday evenings starting from 14 January for ten weeks.

This class is suitable for absolute beginners and over the course of the term students will learn the basics of Chinese pronunciation, practice basic conversations and be taught Pinyin.

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“Take Away China 2013”

8 January 2013 (Ricefield Arts Centre)

James Thomson, director of Ricefield Arts Centre, would like to offer an opportunity to schools to take part in the launch of “Take Away China 2013” on 12 February, the beginning of the Year of the Snake. This is the third year of “Take Away China” – the notion being to take a small part of China away with you from each event. Schools are invited to participate in forming a long snake. The idea is to form a snake made of twenty willow lantern sections with each section being supported by 4 or 6 pupils from each school or hub.  Download the attached file for more information.

If you feel your hub or school might be interested in this opportunity, please contact jamesthomson188@btinternet.com

Free taster calligraphy session

7 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Drop in on Tuesday evening 15 January for a free taster session to try your hand at the age old art of calligraphy/Chinese brush painting.

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Sixth Award for Edinburgh Confucius Institute

7 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh received its sixth consecutive award from Hanban when the title of `Confucius Institute of the Year` was awarded in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the seventh Global Conference on 16th December 2012.

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China plan paying off

4 December 2012 (Scottish Government)

Strengthening Scotland’s relationship with China has generated an additional estimated £220 million for the economy.  Since the publication of the Scottish Government’s first China Plan in 2006, Scottish exports to the world’s second largest economy have risen sharply and are now worth an estimated total of £1.295 billion in 2007-2010, compared to £1.075 billion between 2003-2006.

It comes as a new five year strategy for Scotland’s engagement with China is launched by External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, on the first anniversary of the arrival of the Giant Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.

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Calligraphy Classes Jan-March 2013

3 December 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

With limited places on offer please read on if you are keen to continue developing your skills or want to start to learn the fascination inherent in this ancient Chinese artform. The winter term will start on Tuesday 22 January and will run for ten weeks finishing on Tuesday 26 March 2013.

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Record numbers for HSK exam in 2012

3 December 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The growing importance of China and Chinese language is shown by the significant increase in the number of HSK candidates registered with the Confucius Institute for Scotland in 2012.  The HSK exam which was significantly revised in 2010 to be more appropriate for non-immersive learners drew a pool of 101 candidates, up from 34 in 2011.

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CISS seal cutting workshop

29 November 2012 (CISS)

On Friday 2nd November 2012, the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools ran three hugely successful seal cutting workshops in collaboration with Hanban, Confucius Institute Headquarters. 113 pupils from Hub Schools across Scotland attended.  Here is a video taken of the event: 

Posted in: Chinese, SCILT news

CISS Newsletter Autumn 2012

27/11/2012 (CISS)

The first CISS newsletter has now been published. This edition includes stories on Chinese language and cultural activities and events in schools across Scotland, as well as information on the work that CISS has been doing over the past few months. I’m sure you will agree it is a great showcase of all the fabulous work being done across Scotland to promote Chinese language and culture. Many thanks to those of you who contributed.

You can download the newsletter from the CISS website.

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Foreign language skills 'cost Scottish businesses'

27 November 2012 (BBC News)

A widespread lack of language skills could be damaging Scotland's ability to trade abroad, a report has suggested.  The British Council study warned there was a tendency among Scottish firms to limit their export markets to English-speaking countries.

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Related Links

Fears raised for overseas trade as young Scots shy away from studying foreign languages (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)
A crisis in foreign language teaching across Scottish education is damaging overseas trade, the British Council warns today.

Analysis: Speaking the lingo goes to prove that it’s not only travel that broadens the mind (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Leaders: Greater language skills key to breaking trade barriers (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Crisis in study of languages a risk to trade (The Herald, 27 November 2012)
A lack of foreign language skills is limiting the ability of Scottish companies to tap into lucrative overseas export markets, according to a new report.

Kaye asks why Scots are so bad at learning foreign languages (Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 November 2012) - programme available until 3 December 2012.

Trade danger of language teaching cuts (Scottish Daily Express, 27 November 2012)

Language cuts 'will hit Scottish economy' (Morning Star, 27 November 2012)

Language Rich Europe - Scotland (British Council, 2012)

Booking now open for Jan-Mar 2013 classes

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Bookings are now being taken for language classes at the Confucius Institute for Scotland for the winter term starting from week beginning 14 January 2013.

Visit the website for full details of all the classes on offer.

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Report on SCEN China Youth Summit

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles on 12 November, known as the G50 after the 50 schools, universities and other organisations represented and in memory of the famous G8 Summit held at Gleneagles in 2005 was an inspiring day for all those who attended the event.

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HSK Examinations 01 December

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

A record number of candidates will present for the December 2012 HSK exams organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland. In total in 2012, 101 candidates have registered to test their Chinese in this global examination.

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Yu han competition

23 November 2012 (YCP)

Can you write a song or rap in Chinese?  Do you have the IT skills to make a video?  If so this is the competition for you.

To find out more and to register visit the website. 

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Related Files

Transition: the band's story in Taiwan

21 November 2012 ('Speak Chinese with Hannah' / YouTube)

See the YouTube video telling the story of the band, Transition, their move to Taiwan and how they embraced Mandarin.

There's also a link below to one of their songs, sung in Chinese - a great resource to use in the classroom!

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GCU and OU partnership provides free language lessons for staff

20 November 2012 (Open University)

In a unique partnership arrangement with the Open University (OU), Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have provided their postgraduate students and their staff with the opportunity to study an OU language module in French, German, Spanish or Chinese. 82 GCU students and staff began beginners’ language modules in October, and more will sign up for higher level language modules starting in February. The face-to-face element of the OU tuition programme is being delivered on GCU’s Glasgow campus at times that fit with GCU’s timetable.

Glasgow Caledonian University places importance on the fact that language competence enhances employability and international mobility and values the Open University’s proven track record in language teaching.

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More primary schools to offer Latin and ancient Greek

17 November 2012 (The Telegraph)

Applies to England
Latin and ancient Greek are to make a comeback in state schools under Government plans to introduce compulsory language lessons for seven-year-olds. The list also features Mandarin – because of the growing importance of China as an economic power – plus French, German, Spanish and Italian.

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Feature: Chinese learning flourishes in Scotland

13 November 2012 (Xinhuanet)

Gleneagles, Britain, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- It used to be the place where the G8 summit was held in July 2005, and on Monday another event, dubbed G50, was staged at the same venue.
But this time the participants are 50 high school students from across Scotland who were exchanging their joys and hardships in learning the Chinese language.

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New SCEN website launched

7 November 2012 (SCEN)

The Scotland China Education Network invites you to visit its new website and discover how it is promoting the learning of Chinese and about China in Scottish schools.

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HSK Preparatory Workshops - 10 November 2012

5 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

HSK candidates registered for the December exam are welcome to attend the preparatory workshops which will take place at the Institute on Saturday 10th November 2012.

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Posted in: Chinese

Final Business Lecture 2012 - Peter Budd, 29 November

5 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The eighth lecture in the 2012 series of business focused talks on `China, Scotland and the World` will take place at 6pm on Thursday 29th November when Peter Budd, head of Global Aviation and chair of Arup, Scotland will give his talk `Building Relations; Building Infrastructure`.

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Posted in: Chinese

Glasgow University Seminars - November 2012

5 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

A number of seminars organised by the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow will take place in November.

See the website for full details.

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Posted in: Chinese

Scotland China Association Glasgow Events 2012-13

5 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Glasgow branch of the Scotland China Association meets regularly at Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose St, Glasgow, G3 6RE. All talks are open free to members of SCA with a £1.50 (£1) charge for non-members.

For information on the programme of events, visit the website.

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Posted in: Chinese

Scotland China Association Edinburgh Events 2012-13

5 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

SCA Edinburgh meetings usually take place at the Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, EH2 2JL 7pm for 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend.

Visit the website for details of all the scheduled events.

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Posted in: Chinese

Scotland keen to promote conversation with China: official

31 October 2012 (NZ Week)

Edinburgh, Oct. 30 — Scottish Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Language Alasdair Allan on Tuesday highlighted the importance of Scottish links with China to promote mutual understanding and friendship. Allan made the remarks at a reception at the Scottish Parliament held here for the two-week “Scotland in Conversation with China” under the theme of “Defining Scotland’s Distinctive Identity in an Era of Globalization The Chinese Perspective”.

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Chinese Culture & Conversation Corners in November

30 October 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Chinese Culture & Conversation Corners take place on Friday evenings at the Confucius Institute for Scotland from 5.30-7pm in the Autumn and Winter terms. Open to anyone who is learning Chinese or who has an interest in Chinese culture, each week there is a special theme. This Friday 2 November is your chance to find out which are the `must see` places to visit. For details of all the CCC events in November, visit the Confucius Institute Edinburgh website.

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Gillard: Australia must embrace 'Asian Century'

30 October 2012 (CNN)

Every Australian child should learn Mandarin, Hindi or other regional language as the nation's future is tied to the rise of the "Asian Century," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a policy speech on Sunday.

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Free CPD workshops for teachers of Chinese

24 October 2012 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT/CISS are offering two workshops for teachers of Chinese on 9 November 2012 at the University of Strathclyde. These workshops are free and are open to anyone involved in the delivery of Chinese in Scottish schools (teachers, probationer teachers, Tianjin teachers, CLAs etc).

For more information download the flyer.

To book email Katie Hawkins

Related Files

A Point Of View: Making sense of China

12th October 2012 (BBC News)

China's growing importance on the world stage means that the West needs to start speaking its language, says economist Martin Jacques.

Read more...

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