To accommodate for the ever-growing trend of Chinese language and culture teaching in Ireland, as well as providing a fundamental solution to the problem of the lack of Chinese language teachers in Ireland, the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland set up a National Chinese Training Programme for Irish Teachers this semester.
From the content to the use of teaching materials, this training course is targeted at local Irish teachers working in mainstream education institutions. Under the guidance of the general language teaching concepts and Chinese teaching methods, with the use of “Kuaile Hanyu” as the main text book, this training course also incorporated explanations from teachers and lively discussions among students. There has been very positive feedback from all involved.
17 Irish secondary school teachers from Dublin and further afield took part in this training session. Among the schools they represented, some have just started to introduce Chinese culture courses into their curriculum, some have been teaching Chinese with volunteer teachers from Hanban and some of them are absolute beginners in Chinese. With a solid understanding of the mainstream secondary school education system and extensive experience in teaching French, German, Irish and other second languages, these Irish teachers are fascinated by Chinese language and culture. The involvement of students and the interaction between students and teachers has created a lively learning atmosphere in class, sparked by some professional suggestions put forward by the Irish teachers themselves.
Dr. Wang Liming, Director, UCD Confucius Institute, and Ms. Xie Xiaoyu, visiting scholar at UCD CII, with a number of Irish teachers at their graduation in UCD
At the graduation dinner afterwards, the teachers praised their Chinese teacher Xiaoyu and the design and implementation of the course. The vast majority of the teachers expressed their wishes to continue their language learning at the start of next semester, which we will start in September. Many of the teachers are also looking forward to the chance to use their new language skills during their trip to China later in the summer, also organised by the UCD Confucius Institute.