Local Mandarin teacher featured on BBC One Breakfast
30 November 2017
Ms Lily Deng shares her experience of speaking live on BBC One Breakfast about Mandarin learning in this country.
The aim behind her appearance on national television is to raise the profile of Mandarin teaching and learning in the UK and to encourage more primary and secondary schools to incorporate it in their curriculum.
Ms Lily Deng, Mandarin teacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School in Withington said:
"On the Monday afternoon Ms. Sorohan, our head teacher, told me that the editor of BBC Breakfast was keen to invite me to the program to talk about the importance of Mandarin learning in Brexit UK the very next day! The editor explained over the phone to me that he would like to know more about second language learning, the reason why we need to learn Mandarin, and the response from the pupils. His advice for the following day was to just be myself, which was easier said than done!
"On Tuesday morning, I arrived at the studio at Salford Quays for the live interview at 7.40am. There was another head teacher, Ian Fenn, from Burnage Academy for Boys together with me in the studio. During the interview, Dan and Louise, the presenters asked us the questions like ‘Why do we need to learn another language? ‘, ‘What is the Mandarin learning like in the current world? ‘and ‘Is there any fear in learning a different language among our students?’ I replied with the fact that Mandarin learners are ever growing in every country across the world, and we shouldn’t cut off opportunities of learning another language such as Mandarin in schools. Languages should be treated the same as other subjects, because language skills are important in a global world. I also took our school as an example to prove Mandarin learning is not scary but full of joy – our children are very enthusiastic about learning Mandarin and fascinated by the language and its culture."
Ms Sorohan adds: "Being approached by a national television program, with millions of viewers each day, shows a great level of attention that Mandarin teaching currently receives. The people seem to be re-thinking about the need for learning another language. At St. Paul’s, the first primary Confucius Classroom in the country, we are now in the tenth year of Mandarin teaching. When talking about the future of Mandarin learning in school, it is now an integral part of our curriculum. We are proud to be a leading school in Mandarin teaching in the local area, and will continue to work with the Confucius Institute at The University of Manchester to promote and support the Mandarin teaching around us."
Watch via Facebook: BBC Breakfast, 14th Nov 2017: ‘Can you speak another language?’