On 31 May 2012 Cardiff Confucius Institute hosted a Mandarin assessor training course for WJEC as part of their accredited QCF language qualifications programme. The programme, led by WJEC assessor Sylvie Gartau, enables school children to take accredited short courses in one of six languages – French, Mandarin, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese – which could qualify towards the language component of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Cardiff and Lampeter Confucius Institutes have been delivering Mandarin Welsh Baccalaureate programmes to school children for four years and have been invited by WJEC to act as a partner for the Mandarin component of this programme.
One of the trainee assessors is Xiamen University’s language teacher Li Xiaofen who is currently based at Cardiff Confucius Institute. She attended the first assessors training programme: “The Mandarin assessor training is the first step toward the promotion of Mandarin provision across Wales and prepares the future assessors with standardised assessment decisions. Take Mandarin as an example. Learners may begin from Entry level, or those with some basic Chinese skills may start with Level 1 or Level 2. Each unit is equivalent to either one credit (10 learning hours) or two credits (20 learning hours). Each spoken unit comprises 10 learning hours and is equivalent to one credit and each written unit comprises 20 learning hours and is equivalent to 2 credits. One or two credits are required for each Award.”
WJEC encourages tutors to make language learning a fun and enjoyable process and aspects of delivery were discussed at the training day. It is crucial for tutors to come up with interesting classroom activities to help learners learn faster and better and be able to use what they have learned in actual situations. All WJEC Qualifications in Languages units are internally assessed and externally moderated. By assessing learning in small, bite-sized steps—the units and awarding credit for qualifications, WJEC hopes that more and more people in Wales will be enthused, engaged and motivated to learn foreign languages
The Confucius Institutes for Wales have been working closely with WJEC and Cilt Cymru to partner in the development of Mandarin language programmes for schools in Wales.
Sylvie Gartau (WJEC) leads the Mandarin Assessors training day.