On April 23, 2016, the Open Evening on the Professional Diploma in Teaching Chinese Language and Culture, organized by UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland in conjunction with Irish Institute for Chinese Studies, was successfully held at UCD. The purpose of this programme is to train Irish teachers who intend to develop their knowledge and skills in teaching Chinese language and culture in primary or post-primary schools and to speed up the localisation process teaching Chinese language and culture in Ireland. The programme has been up and running for two years with two batches of students and highly appraised by Irish school teachers.
This event attracted more than 30 Irish school teachers. They showed enormous interests in the demonstration classes delivered by two students who are currently undertaking this programme. They were also impressed by the progress made by the students with the programme in terms of enhancing their knowledge and teaching skills. Ms. Claire McNerney, an Irish school teacher who used to teach French and economics, shared her experience with the audience. From the beginning of barely speaking Chinese to the stage of confidently delivering Chinese language and culture courses to students, Claire has made incredibly great progress with this programme. In recent evaluations by the Inspectors from Department of Education, Claire’s demo class of Chinese ink-washing painting amazed all the examiners in her class. Mr. Robert O’Mahony, an Irish teacher from Cork, demonstrated an inspiring class on the acquisition of Chinese characters in a simple yet profound way. Based on his understanding of the structures of Chinese characters, the inner associations between radicals of characters and other components, as well as his rich teaching experiences, Robert demonstrated how a 20 minutes’ class with vivid examples and enlightening presentation could benefit students in terms of understanding the close yet changing associations among different components.
Professor Liming Wang, Director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, pointed out that all the participants today are the pioneers in promoting Chinese language and culture in Ireland. More importantly, they represent a driving force in accelerating Chinese language toward a Leaving Cert subject. He concluded that UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland as well as Irish Institute for Chinese Studies will cooperate with all educational institutions in Ireland in order to build up capacities for achieving this goal.