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 (Connecting Classrooms), Chinese Language Assistants, language immersion courses for pupils, and classroom materials: As an organisation, we also work together with the HSBC for a Chinese speaking competition for schools - this  annual event is an  opportunity to reward secondary pupils and bring them together with pupils from other school who are learning Mandarin.

Current opportunities in Northern Ireland include:

HSBC British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 

Secondary schools from across Northern Ireland are invited to take part in the HSBC / British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition – with the Northern Ireland final taking place at The MAC, Belfast on November 28. 

The national speaking competition is now in its fifteenth year, but this will be the first time it has ever taken place in Northern Ireland, with this heat supported by the Confucius Institute at Ulster University. 

The competition is open to both groups and individuals of all abilities, with groups performing a short song or drama that must in some way be related to China.

The winners of the Northern Ireland heat will then be put forward to the UK-wide heat in the British Museum, London in February 2018 – with the overall winner, winning a week in Bejing. 

The competition aims to encourage interest in the Chinese language and China's culture, with Mandarin ranked as one of the most vital languages to the UK over the next twenty years.

The call for entries is now closed

For more information and to apply, click here

Chinese Bridge Programme

Are you interested in encouraging the teaching and learning of Mandarin in your school?

Chinese Bridge is offering an exciting opportunity for school leaders, heads of languages, and local authorities. If you want to invest in your own professional development, link with a school in China, or encourage teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in school, this Hanban funded visit could be just what you need. 

Successful applicants will be offered a place on a week’s visit to China from 30th October- 3rd November 2017 and will be invited to take part in a pre-departure briefing to prepare for the visit.

Up to 5 places available for Northern Ireland - deadline June 23, 2017 - Apply here

HSBC-funded Language Assistants for schools

Apply for a fully funded Chinese Language Assistant:

The British Council and HSBC are offering en grants of £3,890 to cover the costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant for the academic year of 2017/18.

This is a pilot scheme for UK schools in 2017/18 and is intended to support the Sustainable Development Goal “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning” Successful schools will have the full costs of hosting a Chinese Language Assistant covered from mid-September 2017 to the end of June 2018.  

For more information and to download an application form, click here