The Linguist

The Linguist 59,1 - February/March 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 26 of 35

FEATURES @Linguist_CIOL FEBRUARY/MARCH The Linguist 27 option to facilitate the intensity of the programme. The additional teaching hours mean progress is swift, confidence is high and commitment to developing the language as a field of expertise is a given. The speed with which students learn the characters is impressive. Cate Peeters, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Head of Languages, notes: "I'm continually impressed by the progress our MEP students make over time. Observing lessons is a joy, and a highlight for me was to see our Year 8 students bringing their learning to life as they conversed confidently and fluently with members of the public on our visit to Beijing last year." Teachers are supported by an expert panel of Mandarin practitioners and staff at the IOE CI, who have written schemes of work and designed online resources to help schools deliver lessons of the highest quality. The online classroom reinforces the knowledge students acquire during lessons, challenges them with extension and enrichment tasks, and develops their understanding of Chinese history and culture. The MEP team have developed a series of enrichment projects that can be downloaded on the MEP Edublog, and continue to conduct research into the teaching of Chinese to keep teachers at the forefront of pedagogy and best practice. There is also a network for sharing teaching expertise and resources. At the Anglo European, we are fortunate to have two full-time Chinese teachers. They are supported by two Hanban teachers, who give workshops, provide additional help for students who need it, and organise cultural enrichment clubs and extracurricular activities. Curriculum time is divided equally between the four key skills with the intention that students learn to speak confidently, listen effectively and develop well-structured sentences and extended writing. According to Beth Main, the school's MEP Coordinator: "Students on the MEP quickly show language skills beyond what is expected of their age; they identify patterns, ask probing linguistic questions, and consistently go above and beyond in their effort and passion for learning the language and culture." In Year 7, students have an intensive study week, immersing themselves in their Chinese studies. Activities include creating and performing Chinese traditional stories, research at the British Museum, working with professors and undergraduates at Churchill College, Cambridge, and a song-writing workshop with the Chinese indie band Transition. By the end of the week, the pupils have designed lessons and workshops, which they deliver to local primary schools in order to engage the next generation of MEP students. A Year 8 trip to China is heavily subsidised by the MEP and fully funded for disadvantaged students. In 2020, more than 1,000 students will travel to seven cities across China for a two-week intensive study programme. Last year, our pupils travelled to Beijing. They are hosted by the local university, staying in halls of residence and receiving four hours of Chinese teaching every morning, followed by visits to the Great Wall of China and other important sites. Here, they are able to use transactional language and talk in regular situations. Our Head of Drama, Irfaan Rafiq, has accompanied students on the trip for the last two years and has subsequently started to learn the language himself, supporting the Chinese curriculum through drama. "Both visits proved to be an exciting, vibrant and culturally enriching experience. The historical landmarks, open-hearted communities and unique cuisine developed a fervent admiration for Beijing in students and teachers alike," he says. LEADING THE WAY The Anglo European is a Lead Hub School for driving the MEP and supporting other schools in the South East region that wish to introduce Chinese as their main language. It also supports local primary schools to introduce the language and develop their understanding of Chinese language and culture. As a hub school, we are uniquely positioned to support the growth of the programme while acting as a point of contact for new schools. It is an opportunity to develop language teacher networks and share best practice. For the last two years, I have chaired the MEP Headteachers Steering Group, which meets termly with UCL (University College London) and provides a forum to develop the strategic leadership of the programme. The group responds to research emerging from the IOE (Institute of Education) Chinese Observatory, which tracks the impact of the MEP on take-up and INSPIRING OPPORTUNITIES Year 8 pupils fly the flag for the Mandarin Excellence Programme on an Anglo European School trip to Beijing (top); and (above) a Year 7 student during China Enrichment Week

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