Schools offering Chinese Mandarin

(80 Posts)
iloveiphone5 Sun 28-Oct-12 10:14:49

Would love to hear from anyone who knows of any schools (private or state, although that cld be rare) that offer Chinese Manadrin lessons as a core MFL subject or failing that, as extra curriculaum item? Preferably in the Herts, Cambs or Bucks regions or north London. With the economy in China / Asia booming ( and expected to continue to boom) and our own struggling economy in the EU, I am surprised that not more schools are offering Chinese. I really fail to see French or Latin or Greek being more important than Chinese for global business in the future. Why they are still on the curriculum i do not know. Controversial maybe - what do others think?

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Oct-12 10:22:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iceflower Sun 28-Oct-12 10:22:21

Here we go smile, one quick google later...

www.westgate.hants.sch.uk/school/courses/modern-languages-faculty/chinese-mandarin/

This course was open to G&T students initially, but apparently the uptake was so low it was open to everyone last year, and all who applied got in. I think there were 20 places shock.

According to the blurb, apparently only a dozen state maintained schools offer mandarin in their curriculum.

crazygracieuk Sun 28-Oct-12 10:24:42

I would have thought that it's because schools couldn't teach the curriculum in 3/4 years like they can with European languages where you at least have the same alphabet and no shortage of teachers who can teach it.

crazygracieuk Sun 28-Oct-12 10:27:02

The People who I know whom picked ip Mandarin or Cantonese lived in the Far East and picked it up there in less time than it would take to do a degree in the language in the UK.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Oct-12 10:27:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Oct-12 10:33:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ronaldo Sun 28-Oct-12 10:35:32

I work in an independent school and we teach Mandarin. We have done for a long time (certainly in the five years I have been in the school) . I think a lot of independents might offer it because o fthe international flavour of such schools.

It is difficult to get Mandarin teachers but we managed two! We al;so start the language as an option (club) in prep. It has a good take up amongst the English first language speakers.

Sorry I cant name it. I dont want to be identified. Check around is all I can say.

happygardening Sun 28-Oct-12 11:53:19

Eton and Winchester offer it to GCSE although I doubt that would make you remotely proficient and I think Eton also offer it to A level although I could be talking crap!

timewastingonhere Sun 28-Oct-12 11:56:00

Knightsbridge School offer Mandarin alongside French; the children can choose French + mandarin or Spanish + 1 other -

There are weekend clubs that's offer languages you could go to rather than a big relocate -

Floralnomad Sun 28-Oct-12 11:58:08

They do mandarin at our local boys grammar ( Kent) , but they are supposed to be a language specialist school.

mummytime Sun 28-Oct-12 12:05:35

My DCs state Comp does Mandarin as an extra curricula activity, I think you can start in year 8 in twilight sessions.

eatyourveg Sun 28-Oct-12 12:58:46

there's a primary school in Kent doing mandarin and both our local girls' grammars do it too (also kent) See here for the primary school

teacherwith2kids Sun 28-Oct-12 13:54:20

Locally, the superselective grammar offers Mandarin at GCSE and the local comp [technically secondary modern, of course] offers it as a club and is moving towards offering it for GCSE.

AuntAda Sun 28-Oct-12 19:02:28

Fortismere in north London offers mandarin. So does Our Lady's Convent High in Hackney. I'm sure there are others. Look for schools that are language colleges.

meditrina Sun 28-Oct-12 19:07:36

Probably beyond your radius, but all pupils at Dulwich College take Mandarin in years 7 and 8, and can opt to continue it onwards to GCSE and A level.

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 28-Oct-12 20:58:15

Our local comp offers a Mandarin club, open to all year groups, and recommended as a good option for students on their gifted and talented programme. It's not available as a GCSE option, though. We are in Surrey and the school in question is one of the least "desirable" schools in our area (for reasons which escape me!)

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Oct-12 21:01:57

Dd's state secondary school does. It is a language specialist school. It offers French, German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

She's only in yr 7 and does French and about to take German as well. Not sure when they can pick up Chinese or Russian. Dd learnt Chinese in yr 6 at primary school and is keen to pick it up again.

eandh Sun 28-Oct-12 21:02:33

Not in your area but in Kent my daughter has just mied to junior school (on same site as infant school but you app,y to get into juniors) she and mandarin lesson at least once a week. A new independent non fee paying school has opened and one of their key points is the amount of mandarin they do from reception (plus the 7-7 opening hours with free childcare provided!) I know people who haved moved to get a place at the local school with fantastic reputation who have turned down their place to go to the 'free' school because of the childcare aspect (I would be slightly concerned as they hAve yet to actually build the school they are based in a local secondary academy at the moment!)

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Oct-12 21:03:29

I'm well outside your area though.

eandh Sun 28-Oct-12 21:04:12

Excuse typos! I see someone has linked the the school I mentioned!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Oct-12 21:09:50

Have checked dd's schools website, they offer gcse and a-level Chinese. They have a very Chinese sounding teacher who is head of the Chinese dept.

cory Mon 29-Oct-12 08:41:30

One reason for learning Latin or French is that it gives you a platform from which you can easily access a range of European languages. I managed to learn a fair bit of both languages at school and can now make a stab at Italian/Portuguese/Catalan etc.

Chinese otoh takes a long time to learn to the level where you can actually use it. I very much doubt that a GCSE for most people will do that. And the pitfalls are enormous, what with the pitch accent and the risks of saying something offensive instead of something that will win your firm another contract.

I would still have been very happy for dc to have had a go at Mandarin- to show them how different languages can be and how our way of thinking is not the only one. But I would not have expected them to be able to use it in a business context without many many years of study.

meditrina Mon 29-Oct-12 08:47:24

Spoken Mandarin isn't complicated, but it's time-consuming to do the rote learning required to read and write. Basic conversation takes about the same time as any language.

Even a small command of a language will impress far more in a business contextthan expecting everyone else to speak English.

As an MFL teacher I have often had parents asking why we didn't offer Mandarin. I can see why parents think it would be a good idea, but...
1. There is currently no PGCE (teacher training course) in Mandarin, so teachers are almost always untrained
2. Mandarin is difficult and it takes much longer to gain a reasonable level of competence in it (i.e. beyond GCSE)
3. The vast majority of pupils are more likely to use thelanguages they have learnt at school for general holiday and travel situations rather
than in business, and China isn't so common as a holiday destination.

Don't get me wrong - I love learning languages and would be fascinated to learn Mandarin. I just think that for most people it would end up being a bit of a pointless GCSE.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now