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Chinese language experience for third year SA trainees

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Students on international pre-service teaching placements in China – L to R back row: Laura, Rebecca, Tiffany, Madeline, Gemma, Nicole, Rachel, Emma, Carly; L to R middle: Nikki, Erica, Imogen; L to R front: Crystal, Amy, Jenna

Sixteen University of South Australian (UniSA) third year Bachelor of Education students chosen to undertake international pre-service teaching placements in China are currently completing their 20-day program in Shanghai.

The UniSA Shanghai International Placement program for pre-service teachers is being run in four different settings, all of which operate within the Xiehe Shanghai United International Schools within 250km of Shanghai City.

The placements are the first of a three-year project funded by the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Student Mobility Program through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with additional funding from a UniSA travel grant.

Dean and Head of UniSA’s School of Education, Prof Stephen Dobson, says the Shanghai placements provide an exciting opportunity for the 16 pre-service teachers to further develop their teaching skills and cultural understanding while experiencing living and learning in Shanghai.

School of Education Lecturer, Rebecca Reid-Nguyen, says there are nearly 3000 students currently studying teaching at the University of South Australia and while all have to complete a number of professional placements the 16 currently in China were selected because of their high Grade Point Averages, their exceptional written applications and interviews.

“The students are based across four of the Shanghai United International Schools: Hong Qiao, Pudong, Wan Yuan and Wuxi giving them the opportunity to learn and teach within the ‘East meets West’ Pioneer Primary Curriculum, which aims to combine best practice in both Chinese and Western Education," said Reid-Nguyen.

“The Pioneer Curriculum is a bilingual teaching mode with students taught concurrently by two teachers, one local Chinese school teacher and one expatriate teacher giving our students the opportunity to professionally develop intercultural education and communication skills in an authentic international context.

“Through the international and intercultural teaching experience, our students will also develop key essential intercultural communication skills and learn to develop professionally in an international context.”

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