Teachers reflect on their time at the BCI

Five members of our enthusiastic and hard-working teaching team are leaving the BCI this summer. We asked them to share some highlights from their time here in Leeds.

Many of you will have studied with Jie LIU, Jianan MENG, Yue LI, Xueni ZHANG or Jie PENG. Here they reflect upon their experiences in the UK and tell us their plans for the future.

A rewarding job

Teachers are heading back to China with warm memories of their time teaching here in Leeds.

Jianan says:

I loved moments in teaching when students came up to me to say they really enjoyed and fully mastered the content in the class. This feels very rewarding.

Jie PENG enjoyed the supportive, collaborative atmosphere in the office: “I enjoyed the most when talking with colleagues about life experience and teaching skills, because I have learned a lot from them.”

The energy and enthusiasm of young learners was a highlight for many. When teaching students at Rossett School Jie LIU “was so impressed by the lovely students there… They are so good at finding and thinking even from a very young age. For example, creating words ‘chāo rén’ (superhero) after learning ‘chāo shì’ (supermarket)! Curiosity makes improvement.” Her teaching partner at the school, Xueni ZHANG, agrees. “They are very dedicated in classes and show great passion in Mandarin learning”. She is sad that she couldn’t say goodbye to the students in person.

Yue LI particularly enjoyed cultural activities, and the China Day at Harrogate Grammar School really stood out in her mind. “The pupils were really engaged and we had a great time”. Playing guzheng at the Chinese New Year celebration was a fond memory for Xueni.

Personal highlights

Teachers enjoyed exploring the UK (while they still could!) and look back fondly on trips to places like Edinburgh, Oxford and the Lake District.

A young Chinese woman warmly dressed and holding a camera poses and pulls a funny face with a cathedral and stately home in the background.

Jie PENG poses for a photo on a UK sightseeing trip

Yue LI told the story of when she met a bus driver in the Lake District who had been teaching himself Chinese for years and said that his bus was his classroom because he met many Chinese tourists every day. Yue LI said “I was impressed by his standard pronunciation, especially since he was totally self-taught. What’s more, I am happy to see more and more people are learning Chinese and Chinese culture.”

In addition to these special trips, personal highlights included aspects of everyday life here in the UK such as spending time with friends and meeting likeminded people at the gym.

Future plans

Teaching Chinese is a passion for Jie LIU, who says:

To be a great Chinese teacher is a goal that I needs put lots of my energy and time to pursue.

Jianan MENG plans to work in the field of languages and literature, either as a teacher or a researcher.

Yue LI plans to continue exploring different career options but knows one thing for certain – that she would like to take advantage of cultural exchange opportunities. Her first step when she gets back to China is likely to be looking for opportunities related to teaching or curriculum design.

Although her next teaching role in China isn’t in Mandarin, Jie PENG would like to teach Chinese abroad again one day.

We hope you will join us in wishing all these fantastic teachers the best of luck in their future endeavours!

The image on this page shows the BCI team at the 2020 Chinese New Year Celebration. From left to right; Jie PENG, Yue LI, Jie LIU, Youzhi TAN, Lynnie Possible, Frances Noble, Giles Blackburne, Jianan MENG, Maggie MAN, Xueni ZHANG.