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Collaboration case study: Rob Neal, Education - various collaborations

The main aim of my PhD is to make a contribution to the embryonic state of Chinese Foreign Language pedagogy in the UK. As well as establishing close links with the Institute of Education, The University of Strathclyde, The University of Nottingham and The University of Sheffield, I have been interviewed by BBC Radio Sheffield about my experiences of teaching Chinese at a local secondary school. I have also developed links with Sheffield United FC and Sheffield City Council which culminated in taking a group of my students out to Sheffield’s sister city of Chengdu. As a result of generous funding from the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), I have also been able to take students to China on various summer immersion courses.

While these trips are not directly related to my actual research, they have played an important role in increasing my students’ levels of motivation and introducing them to China in a way that is impossible within the confines of a classroom. In a similar vein, eight of my students recently took part in a British Council/HSBC funded Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition at the British Museum. I am finding that linking with other institutions is hugely beneficial, particularly in terms of raising the profile of a non-mainstream school subject.

I can be contacted for more information.