Another important connection made through Bilingual Education Alliance resulted in a golden opportunity for the MA TESOL pre-service students at University College London on Dina’s module: ‘Working with bi/multilingual learners in international schools’ to visit English-Chinese Bilingual School Kensington Wade. This unique school was established in 2017 by Professor Hugo de Burgh, an expert in Anglo-Chinese studies. It stands out as the first and still the only prep school in Britain and Europe to offer a fully bilingual and bicultural immersive environment in which children learn in English and Mandarin. Having Mandarin as a home language is not a requirement for those wishing to attend and currently some of the pupils use a third language at home.
The MA TESOL pre-service students were introduced to the bilingual model used in this school, based on the British curriculum with 50 percent of it delivered in Mandarin; ways in which children have the opportunity to learn about UK and Chinese cultures and Year 6 trip to China currently at the planning stage. The MA students, who are Mandarin users themselves, were impressed with the use of the traditional Chinese script in the school displays made by pupils themselves and fluency in Mandarin that one pupil demonstrated.
Many thanks to Kensington Wade staff who made this very insightful visit possible: Jo Wallace, Headteacher; Chetna Kava, Executive Assistant to Head and Head of Admissions; and Jing Wang, Head of Chinese Studies. For more information about the school please visit their website:
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