On 7th September, the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (CII) organized a multi-faceted training programme for Irish Chinese teachers at different levels. This day also witnessed the launch of The Chinese Teachers Association of Ireland (CTAI), which marked a historical moment in the development of Chinese teaching in Ireland. More than 50 Irish secondary school teachers and principals attended the training session, experienced Chinese language and culture and joined the CTAI.
The Training Day commenced with UCD CII director Prof. Liming Wang’s brief introduction of the aims and principles, present situation and future development of Chinese teaching in Ireland. UCD CII has been working hard to address the strong demand of Irish Chinese teachers for Chinese programmes, as the popularity of Chinese language and culture courses in the Transition Year programme in Irish secondary schools has continued to grow rapidly. Afterwards, Prof. Liming Wang announced the launch of the Chinese Teachers Association of Ireland (CTAI) and invited the founding president of CTAI Stephen Mc Ardle to deliver a speech. The association aims to build relationships between Chinese teachers from different schools and therefore advance the teaching of Chinese language and culture at all different levels.
The training sessions were designed for two different groups: the beginners and the intermediate-level Chinese teachers. In each group, the teachers from the CII shared their Chinese teaching skills and teaching resources. Two experienced Irish teachers Mr. Declan Benet and Ms. Áine Mc Alpine joined the discussion and exchanged their ideas on teaching Chinese with the participants.
In the afternoon, the Irish teachers were organised into groups to experience the “Chinese Language and Culture Teaching Pack”, which is consistent with secondary school teaching concepts and methods and extremely user-friendly. Afterwards, in the absorbing workshops on Chinese Culture and Folk Art, the participants practiced traditional Chinese art forms such as Chinese knots, Chinese tea making, paper cutting, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese dancing and various Chinese musical instruments under the demonstration and instruction of Chinese teachers from the CII.