Monthly Archives: February 2016

5 week/10 hour Calligraphy Course-with Chinese Proverbs: from 10 May

Take the chance to try your hand at the ancient Chinese arts of calligraphy and brush painting in a short five week/10 hour course taught by the Institute’s well known calligraphy teacher Chi Zhang.

Running every Tuesday evening from 10 May till 7 June this short course, focusing on Chinese characters, will introduce common techniques related to Chinese soft brushes and ink. Students will learn the basic strokes of Regular Style (Kai Shu), the radical parts and gain cultural understandings relating to the structure of Chinese characters.

Chinese Character BannerStudents can anticipate completing at least one piece of Chinese calligraphy artwork per class. The contents of this work could be a selected Chinese proverb or perhaps an ancient master’s quotation. Demonstration and plenty of personal attention will be provided during the class. This course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.

There will be a maximum of 10 students in the class for which all materials are provided. The cost is £75 for 10 hours or £60 for concessions. Minimum enrolment of 5 is required to ensure the class goes ahead.

To book a place on this rewarding course please complete and return the registration form below along with your cheque payment made out to the University of Edinburgh.  Cash payment can be made at the Institute office





CPD Workshop: Teaching Chinese in Scotland – 12 June 2015

Teaching Chinese in Scotland: Pedagogy Meets the Language is a one day workshop for those involved in, training in, or interested in the teaching of Chinese. Taking place on Friday 12 June 2015 at 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9JY there will be a number of parallel workshops running on the day – which is free to attend.

The workshops will be run by experienced teachers and trainers from the Chinese Studies Department in the University of Edinburgh; Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools; School of Oriental and African Studies; Heriot-Watt University; and Dollar Academy.

Running from 9:45am on Friday 12 June 2015, with registration from 9:00am and networking opportunities from 4:15pm this event is free of charge. An outline of the programme for the day is below or simply download the PDF programme for Teaching Chinese in Scotland.

And please do please register for the day via our Eventbrite Booking link.

Friday 12 June, 50 George Square,EH8 9JY

0900-0945 Registration
0945-1000 Opening Remarks:
Prof Natascha Gentz & Fhiona Fisher
1000-1045 Plenary Session
We are Chinese Language Teachers!
Learning Chinese across the age spectrum
1045-1130 Workshop Session 1 – choice of 3
1130-1145 Tea/Coffee Break
1145-1230 Workshop Session 2 – choice of 3
1230-1315 Workshop Session 3 – choice of 3
1315-1400 Lunch
1400-1445 Workshop Session 4 – choice of 3
1445-1530 Workshop Session 5 – choice of 3
1530-1615 Plenary Session – Q&A with Panel
1615-1700 Farewell: Tea/Coffee & Networking

 WORKSHOPS Options: delegates can attend up to five

Workshop Options Speaker Working Language
1+2 Approach to Language learning Ms Judith McKerrecher English
Assessment is for learning in  your practice Ms Judith McKerrecher English
Classroom management Ms Judith McKerrecher English
Chinese exams in the UK Ms Suen Lik Chinese + English
Learning technology for the mandarin classroom Mr Billy Prior English + Chinese
SQA Assessments for chinese Ms Lin Fan Chinese + English
Teaching Chinese Grammar Dr Zhu Zhu Chinese + English
Teaching Listening + Speaking Ms Suen Lik Chinese + English
Teaching Reading and Writing Dr Song Lianyi Chinese + English
Teaching Tones + Pronunciation Ms Wu Yanmei Chinese + English


Ms LIN Fan, Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools

Lin Fan, a bilingual educator in English and Chinese languages, was an English teacher in China before moving to Scotland to take her MSc in Leadership and Management in Education. She has worked in education for more than 15 years in both China and Scotland. Currently Depute Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools based in Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) at the University of Strathclyde Lin Fan works closely with government organisations in Scotland and China to promote and develop Chinese language and culture for schools in Scotland. Previously she worked at the Scottish Qualifications Authority leading the development of National Qualifications for Chinese for Scotland and for two years was Vice Principal of the Glasgow Chinese School. She also delivers training to PGDE Mandarin students at the University of Edinburgh.

Mrs Judith McKerrecher, Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools

As Professional Development Officer for the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools Judith supports the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in both primary and secondary schools. Additionally she also works with the Confucius Classroom Hubs across Scotland and develops and provides CLPL for teachers and Tianjin teachers.

Judith is currently on secondment from Craigmount High in Edinburgh where she holds the post of Curriculum Leader for Languages – a post previously held at Liberton High. In this role Judith’s work covered French, German, Spanish and Mandarin languages. She also served as Acting Head Teacher with the Edinburgh Community Chinese School on a voluntary basis over a two year period.

Mr Billy Prior, Dollar Academy

Billy teaches secondary Mandarin at Dollar Academy. After graduating from Oxford University with a double first in Chinese, he spent three years in Shanghai working on the project team of a growing bilingual school. He returned to gain a PGDE from Moray House, and has taught since then. His current interests are blended learning strategies and game-based learning.

Dr SONG Lianyi, SOAS, London


Song Lianyi is Principal Teaching Fellow in Chinese at SOAS, University of London, and has taught Chinese in the UK for over 20 years. He obtained his PhD in foreign language teaching at University of London. He was chairman of the British Chinese Language Teaching Society (BCLTS) from 2002 to 2004. His research covers Chinese language pedagogy, language assessment, teaching material development, etc.

Ms SUEN Lik, SOAS, London

宣力, 毕业于北京语言大学对外汉语教学专业, 现任教于伦敦大学亚非学院中文系, 并兼任伦敦孔子学院英方执行院长。有多年在中国, 香港, 美国及英国从事汉语教学的经验。国家级普通话水平测试员, 英国某考试局中文科高级考官。曾参与欧洲范围内的汉语教学框架的研究。主要研究兴趣为汉语语音,汉语语法,方言研究及语言测试。

Suen Lik  graduated from Beijing Language (and Culture) University, majoring in TCAFL. She is now Principal Lecturer in Chinese at SOAS, University of London, and the Executive Director of ​ ​​the ​ London Confucius Institute, SOAS. She is  ​​an ​ examiner of PSC Chinese pronunciation test (China).  She has​ experience in teaching Chinese in China, Hong Kong, the US and the UK from beginner to Master’s degree level. Her research interests are Chinese syntax, Chinese phonology, Chinese dialects and language testing.

Miss WU Yanmei, Heriot Watt University


Wu Yanmei teaches Chinese at Heriot-Watt University. Prior to this, she taught Chinese at Manchester Metropolitan University. She specializes in teaching Mandarin tones/ pronunciation, as well as using films in language teaching. She holds an MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Sheffield), an MMus in Music Performance (SOAS), and an MA in Visual Anthropology (Goldsmiths), and is currently reading for a PHD in Heritage and Performance.

Dr ZHU Zhu, University of Edinburgh


Dr Zhu Zhu is Chinese Language Programme Director at the University of Edinburgh, overseeing Chinese language provision across the University. She directs the curriculum development of Chinese language courses at both UG and PG levels as well as the design and revision of Chinese language courses for the general public. Zhu has extensive experience in training Chinese language teachers as well as in teaching language classes at ab initio to advanced levels. She is also an active researcher in the fields of Second Language Acquisition and Translation Studies.


To secure your place at this one day event please register now via Eventbrite.
You can download, save or print  Teaching Chinese in Scotland ProgrammeBooklet here.

This event is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools.

Asian Studies Seminar Series 2nd March

The second of the three Chinese Studies Research Seminars will take place on Wednesday, March 2nd 2016 in David Hume Tower, LG.08 from 17.00-19.00

Dr Sabrina Yu (Newcastle University)
Going Back to the Hometown: A New Root-searching Movement in Contemporary Chinese Independent Cinema

It has been critically recognised that there was a root-searching movement in the 1980s in China, immediately after the Cultural Revolution, firstly in literature, then in film, exemplified by some Fifth Generation Directors’ works. This paper aims to outline a new root-searching movement emerging in Chinese independent films in the past ten years or so.

It will scrutinise this new trend within its social, cultural and filmic context in contemporary China. The speaker will argue that this new root-searching movement is different from the previous one in that root-searching is not just a subject matter or a nostalgic sentiment, but also manifested as new film aesthetics and fresh approaches to filmmaking, which have been subtly changing the landscape of contemporary Chinese cinema. This new trend will also be discussed in relation to the challenges that independent filmmaking in current China is facing, such as the lack of financial support, the restrictions on exhibition and distribution and the scarcity of audience.

Third Talk 16th March 2016

The third talk of the series this semester will take place on March 16th and will be given by Dr Liang Hongling (University of Glasgow) on “The Enlightenment, Sino-French Institute and Tel Quel: Looking at Three Moments in Sino-French Knowledge Dynamics”.

HSK Online Registration closes next week 3 March

The registration deadline for the HSK March Online Exam will close on Thursday 3rd March 2016. Applicants should download, complete and return the registration form by this date.  For full details please see the HSK information section on our website.  The registration form is available here HSKapplformMarchExam2016 or on the HSK section of our site.

The next exam diet for HSK and HSKK (the oral component of the exam) will be Saturday 21 May.  Registration deadline for the offline May exam is Thursday 21 April while the online exam deadline is Thursday 5 May. The preparatory workshop will take place on Saturday 7 May.

For more details about HSK please visit the HSK information section on our website.

Chinese language teachers for Scottish schools – opportunity

The British Council’s Chinese Language Assistant programme for UK schools is now seeking applications.  If your school would like to secure a Chinese Language Assistant for the 2016/17 academic year please read on then apply via the British Council website by 31 March 2016.

Chinese language assistants work in UK schools to support an existing Mandarin provision or introduce the language and culture to students for the first time. Their role can be tailored depending on the requirements of the school – or indeed a group of up to three schools or further education colleges.  A short summary of the scheme is below.

  • You can employ a language assistant to work a minimum of 12 hours per week and a maximum of 18 hours per week.
  • It is not possible to offer a language assistant a lower allowance in return for fewer hours.

Thanks to support from Hanban, sponsor of the global Confucius Institute network, the cost to schools taking on a Chinese language assistant drop from £13.29 to only £7.20, the National Living Wage. This means the average annual costs for a Chinese language assistant working 12 hours per week for 41 weeks would be just under £3800 (inclusive of the £200 IHS fee).

Full details of the scheme are available on the British Council’s website.   Good luck!


DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan, Cumbernauld Theatre

Often called the Chinese Macbeth, DiaoChan is an epic story of lust, jealousy and revenge, taken from the ancient Chinese classic The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

After the success of last year’s production of The Autumn of Han, Red Dragonfly Productions is delighted to return with another exciting theatre adaptation of a Chinese classic ‘DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan’ at:

Cumbernauld Theatre, Kildrum, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire G67 2BN

On Saturday 5 March 2016, 7.45pm

The play is performed in English and in colourful traditional Han costumes. It is also suitable for 12+. The show is entertaining and accessible, and has been well received by audiences so far, proving popular with English speaking theatregoers, students and academics, and Chinese communities.

‘A wonderful experience to explore the culture and traditions of ancient China through their own mythology, in a manner that will appeal to everyone.’ “British Theatre Guide on The Autumn of Han at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Should you have any enquiries or would wish to get group tickets/discounts, please contact the Red Dragonfly Productions by email: or mobile tel: 07833538318.

Visit their website at

We look forward to seeing you in Cumbernauld.

Are you looking to work in China?

The British Council is now offering graduates the opportunity to work for ten months in universities and schools across China. But be quick – the application deadline is fast approaching! (21 February 2016)

Working as a language assistant is the perfect opportunity to spend time learning Mandarin, whilst developing invaluable transferable skills. Plus, you’ll get paid.

With teaching time limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week, being a Language Assistant gives you plenty of time to explore China and develop your language skills. Previous participants have made the most of this free time – by setting up their own business or even appearing on Chinese TV!

During your placement in China, you’ll get:

  • support from the British Council, with over 35 years’ experience working in China
  • on-going support from their partners overseas
  • a two-week induction course when you arrive, including language and culture lessons, to help you settle in and meet other language assistants
  • a free online TEFL course with practical tips to help you succeed in the classroom placement.

Salary and benefits

As a language assistant in China you can expect to be paid a comfortable salary every month. Your accommodation will be provided, flights are paid for and there is no programme fee to pay.


To be eligible you will need to:

  • be a native speaker of English
  • have graduated from university by the time you start your placement in August

To find out more and apply visit the website:

You can also download this flyer of summary information Become a Language Assistant in China


5 Week Calligraphy Character Class –
May & June2016

Many people are fascinated by the beauty of Chinese calligraphy and brush painting. Sign up for this five week course and start to learn, not only the artistic skills required when working with a brush pen and ink, but also the underlying philosophy of balance and harmony.

2012 European Confucius Institutes / Classrooms Working Symposium.The five week course is suitable for beginners and more advanced practitioners.  Beginners will be introduced to the history of Chinese calligraphy and the techniques required to use Chinese soft brushes and ink. Students will  learn the basic strokes of Regular Style (Kai Shu), and gain cultural understanding relating to the structure of Chinese characters. Students will be expected to complete at least one piece of Chinese calligraphy artwork for each class. The contents might be a Chinese proverb or an ancient master’s quotation. Each student will receive personal attention from the teacher, as well as to see teachers’ demonstration during the class.

Students who have already developed the basic skills will be given more specific tuition to assist in
further development of their artistry.

This class will run from 18.00-20.00 every Tuesday evenings from 10 May to 7 June within the Confucius Institute for Scotland.  To check if places are available please call 0131 662 2180 or email.  The price for the five week course is £75(£60) inclusive of all materials used and handouts.

Please note that this course require a minimum number of enrolments. Normally class which do not reach 5 students this will be cancelled no later than 7 days before the class due to start.

To register please download and complete this form: Spring2016-CalligRegFormHalfTerm

Meantime, please enjoy this video showing Chi Zhang at work where you will also see some of the brush painting artwork made by his students.


Chinese New Year celebrations for Year of the Monkey

As the Year of the Monkey approaches celebrations are being planned around the world. This 15 day festival starts with the new moon on the first day of the lunar month and ends 15 days later with the Full Moon.  In China, the festival is really all about family but with such a large diaspora the Chinese community will come together in a variety of ways and places to mark this, the largest of all the Chinese festivals.  You can read about some of the traditions of this 15 day period here and here.

Closer to home, Universities, Confucius Institutes, community groups and civic society are planning a range of celebrations to mark the arrival of the Year of the Monkey.

  • The University of Edinburgh will celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Debating Hall of Teviot Row Students Union on 4 February from 18.00-20.00.
  • From noon till 4pm on Platform 2 at Waverley Station on Friday 5th February drop by to try out a range of Chinese crafts, get a temporary tattoo, create your own Chinese lantern and if you are lucky, catch a lion dance or a rendition of a Chinese love song.
  • On Saturday 6th February the quadrangle of Edinburgh City Chambers will reverberate to the sounds of both Scottish bagpipes and Chinese Drums as the Lord Provost’s Chinese New Year celebrations kick off at noon. Following on from the Pipes and Drums of George Watson’s College, both a Dragon and Lion dance will take place in the quad before invited guests head into the City Chambers for more entertainment and a reception.
  • Our own Institute will host its annual Chinese New Year party in Abden House on Friday 12th from 18.00-20.00 featuring games, crafts, prizes, karaoke and of course a taste of delicious jiaoazi. In the quieter corners there’s a chance to try out some Chinese crafts, Chinese Chess or even Mah-jong.  And if we are lucky with the weather the evening will end in the garden with the release of some Chinese Sky Lanterns. Booking essential.
  • 12th February is also the date when Glasgow’s Confucius Institute welcomes in the New Year at Hunter Halls in an evening of celebration of traditional Chinese culture.
  • Tuesday 23 Feb will see Heriot-Watt students and guests will mark the Chinese New Year with a concert featuring the Heriot-Watt Chamber choir and musicians from Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.

But if there are no tickets left or you don’t feel like heading out into whichever storm may be raging,curl up on Sunday 7th Feb from noon till 4pm when you can watch a live stream of the China’s most popular evening of TV – China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala.  Running from 8pm till midnight Beijing time, viewers here should be able to watch or simply search for CCTV Spring Festival Gala live stream.