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Inaugural Mandarin Teachers' Conference

SHANGHAI, 9 August 2013 –Dulwich College International (DCI) today launched its inaugural Mandarin Teachers’ Conference, which will be held over three days from 9 to 11 August in Dulwich College Shanghai. The Conference aims to bring a new, creative way to enhance the teaching of Mandarin Chinese across all the Dulwich College campuses around the world and pave the way towards developing a dynamic curriculum for the learning of Mandarin and Chinese culture for students at all levels of Chinese learning.   DCI firmly believes that the ability to communicate in Chinese will be a significant advantage for its students to explore their opportunities in the 21st century. Mandarin Chinese is compulsory in DCI schools to Year 9 with most continuing with the subject.   With over 10 years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese in its campuses in China, Dulwich will be introducing a tailored, dual language approach in its  Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou campuses, as well as its Singapore campus when it opens in August 2014.   The Conference will see 100 Mandarin teachers from across all the Dulwich schools in London, China and Korea coming together to share their experience and learn more about practical and innovative ideas behind the effective  teaching of Mandarin Chinese to native and non-native speaking students alike.   The Conference aims to lay down the foundations to an enhanced curriculum for the learning of Mandarin and Chinese culture, and the programme will feature sessions by Professor George X Zhang, who has 30 years of experience in language teaching and teacher training in leading British and Chinese universities.   “We want to ensure our Mandarin teachers continue to adopt creative and imaginative approaches to teaching Mandarin, so learning is fun and accessible to our students across the different age groups and abilities. Students are encouraged to use and speak the language on an everyday basis, so they can easily grasp concepts and grow to love and embrace Mandarin Chinese. This conference will help us tackle common challenges in teaching the language and culture to native and non-native speakers alike,” said Annabel Parker, Assistant Director of Schools for Mandarin Chinese at DCI.   Brian McDouall, Director of Schools, DCI, agrees: “Our extensive experience in teaching Mandarin and the Chinese culture makes us well-placed to hold this conference for our Mandarin teachers across the campuses. From this inaugural Conference, we aim to develop a dual-language curriculum for our students and develop best practices for effectively teaching Mandarin for our teachers while taking into account cultural differences and how Mandarin works as an acquired language in today’s environment.”   DCI’s dual language approach begins in the Early Years and will be extended rapidly to Junior School. Additionally, there is a set time of up to one hour daily for learning Mandarin Chinese in all the Colleges, which supports the use of the language in other areas of the curriculum.   Dulwich College London was one of the first schools to introduce Mandarin into the curriculum in the UK, an example of Dulwich’s tradition of academic innovation and excellence for nearly 400 years. Dulwich College London also recently awarded the Confucius Classroom to further enhance the teaching of Mandarin and Chinese culture to its students.