17 March 2014

Image of The Sixth Form College builds on China partnership by welcoming University teacher

Yanfang Si, a languages teacher from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, was making her first trip to the UK and visited Birkenhead Sixth Form College to meet with staff and students.

As well as giving a presentation on XJTLU’s summer school programme – which students from the college will be able to enrol on from 2015 – Yanfang met with students learning Mandarin to help them with their language skills.

Yanfang, who teaches Mandarin to students from across the world, said: “The students are very creative, energetic and active in the classroom. There was a very positive energy at the college and I was very impressed by the way they got involved with my presentations, asking questions and learning some basic Chinese phrases.

“The college itself looks fantastic and the facilities here are very impressive. I was particularly impressed with the new School of Art and Design which is an excellent place for the students to express their creativity and passion.

“We are proud to be building links with Birkenhead Sixth Form College and I think this will create good opportunities for the students to learn more about China. The summer school programme will give students first-hand experience of Chinese culture and history. As part of the programme they receive Mandarin lessons in the morning, and then in the afternoon get to do things like Tai Chi and Chinese cooking, or visit our gardens and historic sites.

“China exchange programmes are becoming a lot more popular with Western countries as we grow economically and we also offer studies in business for young people that are interested. I have been teaching Mandarin for seven years and it is good to see more people – such as the excellent students at the Sixth Form College – wanting to learn the language.”

College Principal Kathryn Podmore and Assistant Principal Kate Rigby made a visit to Suzhou earlier in the year and were delighted to be able to reciprocate the excellent hospitality they received.

Mrs Podmore said: “We were very pleased that Yanfang could take the time on her visit to the UK to come to the college and meet with staff and students. She is a very inspirational lady and really galvanised the students into wanting to learn more about China and the Mandarin language.

“The Chinese partnership is an exciting long-term opportunity for the college, our students and staff. China is an important economic centre and over the coming years – with the Peel International Trade Centre and the potential of the Wirral Waters scheme – we should be working closely with China to promote the excellent commercial and educational opportunities that Wirral and the North West can offer.”

Yanfang added: “This is a great region to visit and I have found everyone to be very friendly. Liverpool is a beautiful city, very modern but also with a lot of history and interesting architecture. I look forward to coming back here but hopefully also welcoming students from Birkenhead Sixth Form College to Suzhou in the near future.”

Students at The Sixth Form College are able to learn Mandarin Chinese as part of the college's Enrichment programme.

Chinese Delegate Visit: Yanfang.Si

Tags: Wirral Sixth Form A Level Educational Trip Liverpool Birkenhead BTEC China Enrichment University

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