Research into China, Language Acquisition and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language


Mandarin Playgroup for 2 - 3 year-olds  婴幼儿亲子班

- Open to children aged 2-3 and their parents (one child with one parent)

Playgroup22Time: 1h each session, twice a week. Mondays and Thursdays 9:30-10:30am.
Start when we have 5 enrolments.
Place: Playgroup Room, Confucius Institute, 2 Palmerston Road, S10 2TE
Promotional Fee: £100 (Intro Offer) for total 22hrs.
Register at at All Departments, search for “Playgroup”

Children have a natural ability to learn, which is developed during the first 3-4 years of their life. Learning a second language can be as easy as learning the first.

Language learning lays a foundation for study skills, attitudes and creative thinking. Every new language opens a new window into a new life.

Working with Chinese University of Hong Kong, the curriculum and teaching materials have been developed and backed by research.

Unique features of the Parent-Child Mandarin Playgroup:
* Incorporating research findings by linguists and researchers who specialise in child language development, designed by international team at the University of Cambridge – Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Laboratory for Bilingualism.
* Effortlessly acquire authentic Mandarin though songs, games, and storytelling.
* Rich Content of 10 themes of daily life: animals, colours and shapes, food, clothing, weather, transportation, body parts, aquatic activities, occupations, and holidays.
* Parent-child interactions and one-on-one teacher-child interactions give clear language input and guidance.
* Three teachers are trained by the University of Cambridge – Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Laboratory for Bilingualism and the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre.

Please note: The Playgroup is also a research project carried out by the University of Sheffield, the University of Cambridge – Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Laboratory for Bilingualism, and its purpose is to study how children acquire Mandarin and how they interact with their parents, teachers, and peers in a playgroup setting. All playgroup sessions will be recorded in the form of audio and video recordings for the purpose of further research and analysis. All personal information collected will be strictly guarded and will not be released in any publications or reports. You will need to sign a Consent Form. You and your child may choose to discontinue participation in the playgroup at anytime.

Contacts: Tel: 0114 2228447 / 07846262870; Email:

China Seminars 中国讲座

The CI regularly invites academics and experts worldwide to give talks at 'China Seminars Series', about latest research in language studies, language teaching, international relationships and economics, etc.

Research into Language Acquisition 继承语语言习得

Working with the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, SCI conducted research on the acquisition of Mandarin Chinese by heritage Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

The project filled the gap for heritage language acquisition by school-age children and its research results have been publicised at various training courses and academic conferences. It has also led to further collaboration between the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the university of Sheffield.

Chinese Language Acquisition Research Centre 汉语语言习得研究中心

The centre investigates the acquisition of Chinese by various types of learners to enhance understanding and provide references for language teachers, policy makers, textbook designers etc.

The Chinese Language Acquisition Centre was established and collaborations were built with:

Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR), Southampton University;

College of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, Peking University; 北京大学对外汉语教育学院

Child Bilingualism Research Centre (CBRC), Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); 香港中文大学 儿童双语研究中心

China Language Industry Research Institute, Capital Normal University; 首都师范大学 中国语言产业研究院;

Foreign Language College, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. 电子科技大学 外国语研究中心。

For more information, contact: