The ELC and FCSE (AQA) Chinese (Mandarin) Links to all pages and summary

The ELC (Entry Level Certificate)  and FCSE (Foundation Certficate of Secondary Education ) in Mandarin Chinese are pre GCSE and are offered by AQA (that also offers the GCSE). For great summaries and links to the AQA website read on.


AQA Entry level Certificate (ELC) Mandarin Chinese

How to link with a school in China

Forming a link with a school in China can be an excellent way to make the learning of Mandarin and Chinese culture real. Links may involve the sharing of cultures, language and teaching experience and professional development of staff from both countries and enhancing the curriculum by supporting language awareness. By forming partnerships, schools can develop joint curriculum projects, exchange of students and teachers and develop language learning programmes together. This article explores the ways in which a school can form a link with school and how they can go about doing so.



Global Gateway

Your first stop should be the Global Gateway’s website. The Global Gateway is run by the British Council in collaboration with the DCSF. Along with many other countries the British Council create formal links with China.

The Gateway has an easy to use school search facility though the advance keyword search is easier to pinpoint particular cities that you may wish to partner with.

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGCE/PGDE)

What is a PGCE/PGDE?

A PGCE course mainly focuses on developing your teaching skills, and not on the subject you intend to teach. For this reason, you are expected to have a good understanding of teaching Mandarin Chinese, usually to degree level before you start training.

How long does a PGCE/PGDE take?

Courses generally last for one year full-time or up to two years part-time.

Where can you do a PGCE/PGDE?

PGCE courses are available at the following universities and colleges throughout the UK:

Association of Language Learners (ALL) - Free associate membership to Language teachers in training!

Tags: UK

The Association of Language Learners (ALL) have just announced a special offer of one year free associate membership of ALL to all Language teachers in training in 2009-2010 (PGCE, GTP,etc.).

For 2009-2010 only NQTs will also continue to benefit from this free offer. As an Associate you will be entitled to discounts on ALL regional and national events, including this year’s Language World conference; will receive the ALL weekly email bulletin ALLnet and will be added to their mailing lists.

To become an Associate Member simply fill in the online form. Alternatively you can join as an individual member straight away! And receive all of the other membership benefits, including ALL journals and the new termly ALL magazine ‘Languages Today’. Please visit the membership page for the relevant subscription details. Visit:

The Graduate Training Programme (GTP) for Chinese Teachers (UK)

 Who is this suited to?

Look East: Why Chinese lessons are booming

Tags: UK

Article by Hilary Wilce from the Independent newspaper (8 October 2009), highlighting how Mandarin is becoming a mainstream subject in many schools in the UK.

To read the article visit The Independent.  Photo Credit: Will Wintercross

UK: The Registered Teacher Programme (RTP)

Who is this for?

Non-graduates with some experience of higher education to complete their degree and qualify as a teacher at the same time. You will need to find a school willing to employ you.

What training will I get?

The school would need to work with a local higher education institution to ensure that you receive suitable training to extend your subject knowledge to degree level. The training programme leads to a degree-equivalent qualification as well as QTS.

How long will it take?

It usually lasts two years.

What about money?

Your school will pay you an unqualified or qualified teacher’s salary (starting from £15,461 depending on your responsibilities, experience and location). The TDA may also provide the school with a grant of up to £9,100 (for two years' full time) to cover the cost of your training.

UK: Overseas Teacher Training Programme (OTTP)

Who is this for?

  • Teachers that qualified overseas and outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • You need to have already found a teaching position in a school.

How long do I have to get my QTS on the OTTP?

You may be eligible to work in England as a temporary, unqualified teacher for up to four years while you achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). Currently, this programme is only available in England.  You MUST have your QTS within the 4 years otherwise you will no longer be allowed to teach. 

What training will I get?

The Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP) will provide you with an individual training and assessment programme. This will ultimately lead to your qualification to teach in England permanently.

How long will it take?

How to become a Qualified Chinese Teacher in the UK

What does qualified mean?

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is the accreditation that enables you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.

You will need to complete a period of initial teacher training (ITT), which will enable you to meet the professional standards for QTS; a formal set of skills and qualities required to be an effective teacher.

How do I get QTS?

Mandarin Chinese teachers can gain QTS through 4 recognised routes:

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE - Scotland) 
  • Graduate Training Programme (GTP)
  • Overseas Teacher Training Programme (OTTP)
  • Registered Teacher Programme

 What qualfications do I need beforehand?

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