Teaching Mandarin

With the recent increase in the number of people studying Mandarin, I’ve been wondering where all the teachers are coming from. Most are probably from China, but there are some non-Chinese teachers of the language.

In the UK there are only a handful of training courses for those wanting to teach Mandarin:

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London runs a one-year part-time course that leads to a Certificate in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

The University of Exeter offers a PGCE* in Modern Foreign Languages with Mandarin – a one-year full-time course. Interestingly, students on this course have to have some competence in a European language such as French or German because “there is normally insufficient timetable space on school-based work for an exclusively Mandarin programme.”

At the University of Sheffield you can do PGCE courses in Mandarin with a specialisms in French, German or Spanish – as at Exeter, you can’t specialise solely in Mandarin.

Goldsmiths College offers a PGCE in ‘Community Languages’ (Arabic, Mandarin, Chinese, Panjabi and Urdu).

*PGCE = Post Graduate Certificate of Education, one of the main teacher qualifications in the UK

Do you know of any similar courses and qualifications in other countries?

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This entry was posted in Chinese, Education, Language.

4 Responses to Teaching Mandarin

  1. Weili says:

    I had friends who took Chinese language courses back in college. I noticed that while the teachers were all very fluent in Chinese and even very knowledgeable scholars, they simply didn’t know the most efficient and best way to teach Chinese from an American point of view because English is their second language.

    Because I speak both Chinese and English fluently, I know many methods that would allow Americans to learn Chinese easier and vice versa. Unfortunately teaching Chinese doesn’t pay nearly as well as what I do and schools tend to be quite close-minded and simply refuse to hire anyone outside of Beijing proper…

  2. Ben L. says:

    Teaching is definitely an art separate from any other discipline, not something to taken lightly. I wonder whether professors at US colleges need any teaching credential? I doubt TAs do.

  3. Laci the Hun says:

    Here in Hungary one can study Oriental languages suh as Chinese,Tibetian, Mongolian, Japanese, Hindi, Farsi, Arabic, Turkish for five years at our university and one can also pick up teacher training courses. There are also some so-called programmes (sort of minors) like African studies (mainly Swahili) and Korean studies. Plus as far as I know there are no other countries, except Hungary, in the world where they offer Esperanto as a major.

  4. Zx Jin says:

    Teaching Chinese in the US is beginning to draw greater attention on all levels of American who have business of different kinds with China. To teaching Mandarin is not much of how much you get paid from language school or that program. It’s much of the fund THEY can get to keep such program going at the time. You may be overqualified for lower income. At the beginning stage, any school would like the best native-speaking teachers (i.e. from Beijing) for lower cost. That’s quite understandable, isn’t it?