Leeds lecturer and alumnus return to give talk about new Chinese textbook

Ning Yi, a retired lecturer from the Department of East Asian Studies, and Esther Tyldesley, who holds an MA in Applied Translation (Chinese) from the University of Leeds, gave an online talk on Thursday 14 October about the new Chinese textbook ‘Social Perspective’.

社会视角 Social Perspective by Yi Ning, Wei Shao, Zhengrong Yang and Esther Tydesley is a course aimed at intermediate to advanced learners. This volume of the textbook covers five current social issues in China (gender equality, e-commerce, Internet culture, food and health, and environmental protection) to provide students with a real-life background to increase their debating and written skills.  

Lead author Ning Yi taught Chinese at the University of Leeds for almost 30 years before her retirement in 2017. She gave an overview of how the project came about and the problems it aims to solve, before sharing some examples of the content in the book. 

Co-author Esther Tyldesley drew from her own personal experience as a learner and teacher to highlight the progress in Chinese language teaching and materials that this textbook represents. Comparing and contrasting her experience as a learner in the 1990s with the current language-learning landscape, Esther highlighted the importance of developing students’ ability to express themselves ‘like adults’ and discuss the kind of contemporary social issues addressed in the book – topics students are already keen to explore (women, the economy and the environment) and others ‘they don’t know they want to know about’ (such as food safety, a very important issue in China). 

Watch the webinar recording below.

  • 02:55 Ning Yi: The making of the textbook and an overview of the content
  • 18:00 Esther Tyldesley: How Chinese teaching and materials have developed over the years – Esther’s reflections as a learner and teacher
  • 38:20 Q&A