Mandarin Chinese Teachers across Borders: Challenges and Needs for Professional Development

LU, Yanbin
LIN, Shihan

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2019; Issue No. 6; p.135 - 168

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

The learning and teaching of Mandarin Chinese as a second or foreign language (CSL/CFL) has been gaining momentum around the world, leading to a shortage of qualified Chinese teachers. Thus more research is needed into the training and professional development of Chinese teachers. This study investigates the challenges and difficulties that native Chinese-speaking teachers of Mandarin have encountered in British schools and the professional development that they desire. A questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews were used for data collection from native Chinese-speaking teachers of Mandarin in Confucius Institutes (Hanban teachers) in the UK. Results show that participants have encountered linguistic, pedagogical and socio-cultural challenges. Major challenges reported by the Hanban teachers include lack of English proficiency and intercultural competence, lack of knowledge about the local education system, and lack of effective pedagogical methods and classroom management skills to work with disruptive students, students with special educational needs, as well as teaching assistants. The study concludes that training and professional development tailored to the local context seems imperative for this group of teachers to facilitate their effective teaching and localisation.

Chinese as a second or foreign language Hanban teachers Confucius Institutes professional development


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

IJCLE_No.6_Dec19_07.pdf(Download Count: 247)