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Concordia Mandarin Teachers Present Workshop at Global Language Conference

June, 2013
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The passion for learning is contagious as a cutting-edge literacy program spreads beyond Concordia International School’s own walls.

Teachers took program methodology to the Global Language Conference in Beijing, which is held on an annual basis and is attended by Mandarin language teachers from international schools across Asia, including representatives from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and cities across China. Leona Shen and Susan Duo, Mandarin teachers at Concordia, attended the conference and presented the methodology being applied at Concordia and from Columbia University in New York.

For more than three years, Concordia International School Shanghai has enjoyed affiliate school status with Columbia University Teacher’s College. “The school’s status as an affiliate gives Concordia access to Columbia University’s latest educational research, curriculum and assessment resources produced by the Reading and Writing Project think tank. Columbia’s Reading and Writing Project is one of the world’s leading institutes in literacy education,” says Erin Kent, Instructional Coach at Concordia International School’s Shanghai Elementary School. “I love the idea that Columbia University’s research on best-practice elementary pedagogy is informing more than just our English literacy work,” says Kent.

Columbia University trainers regularly visit Concordia to provide ongoing training on reading and writing workshop methodology for English language arts teachers, and more recently for Mandarin language teachers, where there has been noticeable success among Mandarin students. The Mandarin language teachers have embraced the Columbia University methods to the extent that they presented these methods at the Global Language Conference hosted by the International School of Beijing this past April.

The conference workshop, entitled "Read Aloud for Heritage Mandarin Beginners,” described how teachers could apply Columbia University’s methods and prepare lessons for Mandarin language students.

“We did a demo lesson for all the attendees. I demonstrated how to conduct a Read Aloud lesson using a sample book to Kindergarten Heritage Mandarin students, while my colleague Susan Dou used the same book to demonstrate how to conduct a Read Aloud lesson to grade 2 Heritage Mandarin level 3 students. We chose the same book to demonstrate how to tailor a Read Aloud lesson to students at different reading levels and with different skills,” says Leona Shen.

In the Mandarin classrooms at Concordia, students will continue to benefit from the school’s affiliate status as teachers work hand-in-hand with Columbia University trainers to integrate the latest methodologies into literacy lessons. The teachers are looking forward to presenting at next year’s conference. 


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