The Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds (BCI) hosted its annual teacher training day at the University of Leeds on 8th June, 2019. Mr. Joseph Bensley, the Mandarin and Languages Programme Coordinator for The Petchey Academy in Hackney, East London was invited to deliver the training for local Mandarin teachers.
Joseph Bensley worked in Gansu province, China as an English Teacher in the early 2000s before graduating from The University of Leeds in 2008 with a distinction in Modern Chinese. Throughout his degree he also studied at both Beijing and Taibei Normal Universities. He now has 11 years of experience teaching Mandarin in schools.
The day started with a welcome speech given by Hongwei Yan, the BCI Chinese Director. The training day was divided into three sections based on three themes: Positive behaviour management within a Mandarin classroom; Mandarin Toolkit: Language activities to encourage Mandarin progress and Teaching the new GCSE: Strategies to achieve Mandarin success. Participants include teachers from local Chinese community schools, primary and secondary schools as well as University lecturers from the School of Languages, Culture and Society. Some students from the School of Education were also given the chance to attend the training day.
The aim of this training day was to provide teachers with a toolkit of ideas for developing positive classroom behaviour and language learning progress. Throughout the day participants explored and shared a range of simple and practical teaching techniques for use in a Mandarin classroom, which will help teachers establish encouraging learning environments whilst inspiring creative and engaging approaches to lesson planning, especially in regards to the teaching of the new Mandarin GCSE.
After the event, we received very positive feedback from the participants, saying that they “learnt a lot of practical skills that can be taken to their own classroom” and that “the trainer is extremely experienced and has just the methods to motivate local students”.