SCI Newsletter October-December 2021

The Sheffield Confucius Institute Newsletter: October-December 2021

SCI Newsletter October-December 2021

SCI Update

The Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield has continued to hold language courses, activities, exams, seminars and cultural events during October, November and December 2021.

Read on for more details!

People's Daily Interview: Dr Malcolm Butler, Vice President and Director of Global Engagement

In December 2021, Vice President & Director of the Department of Global Engagement, Dr Malcolm Butler, was interviewed by the People's Daily (overseas edition), the biggest newspaper in China, on the role of education in the Sino-UK relationship, the importance of Chinese language education and future cooperations. See below an excerpt from the interview:

Q: The Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield has provided a very good platform for learning Chinese language. What are your plans for the Confucius Institute?

A: Our Confucius Institute has continued to expand its reach over the past 18 months as online teaching and activities have allowed us to engage with more people. We have seen those from Australia, Brazil, France, the USA and other countries participating in schemes which would have been offered previously to just the local Sheffield community. As the world emerges from the constraints of the pandemic we will return to hosting the numerous face-to-face events that have been so successful in the past furthering Sino-British understanding.

As a Confucius Institute,  we are always trying to improve and develop ourselves so that we can be more effective at delivering our mission. We will do this through engaging with external speakers, regular teacher training and the latest research on language learning.

China Seminar Series: Delivered by Professor George Xinsheng Zhang

Topic: Online Chinese Language Learning and Teaching During COVID-
19 and Its Potential Impacts - Challenges and Opportunities

On the 10th November 2021, the Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield hosted the next talk in its annual China Seminar Series. The topic of the talk was "Online Chinese Language Learning and Teaching During COVID-19 and Its Potential Impacts - Challenges and Opportunities".

The seminar was delivered by Professor George Xinsheng Zhang from Richmond, the American International University in London.

Professor Zhang carefully and conscientiously explained the reform of Chinese teaching that came about as a result of the “New Normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together Professor Zhang and the audience reviewed the history of Chinese teaching over the past two years, from 2020 to present, and reflected on the changes in teaching method and the development of technology during this time.

At the end of the talk, Professor Zhang engaged in in-depth exchanges with participating teachers and answered various questions put forward by participants.

Dr George Xinsheng Zhang is a Professor of Chinese and Director of the Centre for Modern Languages at Richmond University, the American International University in London and author of the award winning Chinese language textbooks, Chinese in Steps.

Professor Zhang obtained his PhD from the University of Nottingham in 1991 and has previously held positions at the SOAS Language Centre, University of London and the London Confucius Institute. Before joining Richmond University, Professor Zhang was the Director of SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Language Centre, University of London and the Director of London Confucius Institute (the first Confucius Institute in the UK).

Chinese Day

On the 12th of November, with the strong support of the Chinese Consulate-General in Manchester, the "Chinese Day" Chinese Culture Festival, sponsored by the Sheffield Chinese Students and Scholars Association and co-organised by the Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield, was held at the University of Sheffield Students Union.

Chinese Day

The SCI formed a Chinese Culture Exhibition Team made up of four teachers; sponsored teachers Duan Zhipeng, Li Jia, Liang Yanan and local teacher Tao Ting to showcase these aspects of traditional Chinese culture.

As a co-organiser of the event, the Sheffield Confucius Institute (SCI) actively participated in the organisation and coordination of the entire event, as well as organising a team of teachers to provide technical support for the event.

Paper cutting

The SCI's Chinese Culture Exhibition Team, made up of four teachers, worked extremely hard throughout the event to showcase the various aspects of traditional Chinese culture.

The exhibition area, where the four teachers from the SCI were located, was full of unique Chinese traditional charm, featuring calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, paper cutting, and exquisite traditional style crafts.


CNY Year of the Tiger Arts Competition

In these challenging times, it is vitally important to strengthen our spirit of positivity and determination. When the Year of the Tiger arrives on 1st February 2022, we will be overjoyed to celebrate our hard work and perseverance, not just like the Year of the Ox in 2021, but also like the Tiger, with extra courage and triumphant achievement.

CI- Year of Tiger

The SCI invites schools and educational communities to organise pupils, minimum 25 children per category, to create an A4-sized picture of the Tiger, inspired by Chinese New Year.

To submit, send us the original artwork of your chosen first prize winner and two runner-ups, per category. For more information, click here.

China-UK International Photography Competition: Exploring Perspectives

The Sheffield Confucius Institute (SCI), in collaboration with the Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CSSA), proudly presents “The China-UK International Photography Competition: Exploring Perspectives”. The competition deadline is Monday 7th February 2022.

A fundamental part of the Sheffield Confucius Institute is to build a bridge between China and the UK and by applying this purpose to the competition’s theme, we can help participants better understand each other’s respective country and culture, through a camera lens.

SCI China-UK International Photography Competition: Exploring Perspectives

Chinese participants are asked to only submit photos taken in the UK and Non-Chinese participants to only submit photos taken in China. Doing so brings the theme of “Exploring Perspectives” to life and can help everyone to understand more about both the UK and China.

For more information on the competition, its categories and requirements, please contact

Chinese Bridge "Wonderful Chinese" UK Youth Online Camp

Across the month of November 2021, the Star Mandarin School at the Sheffield Confucius Institute has been working closely with our partner university - BLCU (Beijing Language and Cultural University), in organising the “Wonderful Chinese” UK Youth Online Camp, which is specially developed for the CI.

The SCI invited lecturers and professors from BLCU into the Star Mandarin School Saturday classrooms to teach directly to the children in attendance. Prior to this, the SCI selected 115 children who were in the transition from Beginners to Intermediate levels, to take part in the project.

One of the unique features of the project was expert teachers entering our Saturday classrooms and both the students and teachers learned a lot from their teaching. The Mandarin Chinese learning was not interrupted because all the teachings were based on the current textbooks. The children added to their learning by watching a variety of cultural videos, which were linked to their classroom teaching and totalled 200 minutes.

As well as this, the children were given creative homework that was displayed in the following session. During the Online Camp, the children were given opportunities to create and perform their own stories and read out essays they had written themselves. Furthermore, the event was reported in the People's Daily (overseas edition), the biggest newspaper in China.

Teacher Training

October 2021: From the 22nd to the 24th of October 2021, local Chinese teachers from the Sheffield Confucius Institute participated in the teacher training event; the 4th Teacher Training for the Local Chinese Teachers in the UK. The two day teacher training event was organized by the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation, UK.

December 2021: Hosted by Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), the second online training for local teachers in the UK was held in four sessions, on December 1st, 8th, 10th and 15th and nearly 20 local teachers from the Sheffield Confucius Institute joined. The training included sessions on "How to make online Chinese character learning more interesting" and "Basic methods and strategies of online Chinese teaching".


Hui Wang: On Sunday the 24th of October 2021, three SCI teachers participated in the Mid-North UK Chinese Teaching Final Competition, organised by The Organising Committee of the UK Mandarin Teaching
Championship. During the competition, one of the SCI's teachers, Ms Hui Wang was awarded the Most Creative Teaching Award in the competition. She will move forward onto the next stage of the competition and take part in
the final UK Chinese Teaching Competition next year. Congratulations Hui Wang!

Manting Tao, Ying Li & Yu Wang: On the same day, three of the SCI's local Chinese teachers (Manting Tao, Ying Li and Yu Wang) were awarded the Excellent Teacher of the Year 2021 Award at an online meeting that celebrates the 21st Teachers’ Day for the local Chinese language teachers in the UK. The event was organized by UK Association for the Promotion of Chinese Education, UK.

Chinese Creative Writing Essay Competition - 谢⼤孔院五名学⽣荣获“华⽂创想曲”仓到意作⽂⼤赛⼀等奖: On December 12th, the winners of the 2021 "Chinese Creative Writing Essay Competition" for overseas Chinese children, organised by the Overseas Affairs Office, Overseas Chinese Federation of Jiangsu Province and the Cultural Tourism School, and co-organized by the British Chinese Education Promotion Association were announced. Five students from the SCI were announced as 1st place prize winners in the competition; they were Li Zirong (李咨融), Zhu Xiangjie (朱翔杰), Ke Lingna (柯铃娜), Chen Shuxin (陈书欣) and Chen Yilin (陈依琳).

Thank you for reading and see you in the new year!

Events at the University

Browse upcoming public lectures, exhibitions, family events, concerts, shows and festivals across the University.