The British Council is promoting the teaching and learning of the Chinese language and culture in Northern Ireland.

A report entitled ‘Languages for the Future’ published by the British Council, ranked Mandarin as a vital language to the UK over the next twenty years –  citing that with the increasing influence China has on the world economy, we need to prepare our young people for life in a globalised, multicultural society.  Knowledge of the Chinese language and culture among people in the UK will create a deeper mutual understanding between our communities  and give young people the opportunity to open up their horizons for the future.

The British Council creates a number of international opportunities around China, including school partnerships, Chinese Language Assistants, language immersion courses for pupils, competitions and classroom materials.

Current opportunities in Northern Ireland include:

HSBC British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 

Give your pupils the platform to showcase their linguistic skills

Post-primary schools from across Northern Ireland took part in the Belfast heat of the HSBC / British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition at The MAC, Belfast on November 27 2018.

The winners of the Northern Ireland heat - Thornhill College, Foyle College and Rathmore Grammar - went through to the UK-wide final at the British Museum, London on 6 February 2019 – with Eve Flood, from Thornill College and Patrick Murray from Rathmore Grammar, taking first and second respectively in the Beginners Category.

The Belfast heat was kindly supported  by the Confucius Institute at Ulster University.

Find more information here or email our Education & Society Manager, Naomi McAteer

Chinese Language Assisants 

Bring Chinese language and culture to life in the classroom with a qualified teacher of graduate in teaching Chinese as a language. These native speakers can help to support Mandarin provision or introduce it for the first time. Your assistant will work for between 12 and 18 hours, and these hours – and the costs – can be shared with up to three neighbouring schools. 

Schools receiving an assistant will be provided with information booklets in advance of the placements, and will also receive support from the British Council with administrative matters and pastoral care throughout the year.

Connect with a partner school in China 

Use our free, online tool to find and connect with your own Chinese partner school. Search by location, pupil gender and age group, send your school a message, and let your partnership journey begin.

Resource Packs

There are  a number of different resource packs available through British Council around Chinese Language and Culture.

Including the Year of the Pig resource Pack. Download now.