SCEN Update April 2020

16 April 2020

Impact of Covid-19
I hope you are all keeping well and active during these deeply challenging times for all of us. Congratulations to those who are keeping learning and teaching going through distance and on line learning at a time when schools, colleges and universities remain largely closed. Congratulations to those also who are keeping businesses running in the most difficult of circumstances. Many of you are facing real uncertainty about your own future and that of family members.

Language Learning and Chinese
As we look to the future beyond the present crisis, engagement with the wider world will be more important than ever. That is why it is vital that young people in schools should have access to language learning. Central to this must be the opportunity to learn more about china, the Chinese people and the Chinese language. In making this case, SCEN will, as ever, be at the forefront.

April in Beijing
As the United Kingdom remains in lockdown for some weeks a least, china is slowly emerging from similar measures in place for many months already and impacting on the lives of millions of people. Some classes in schools in some areas are starting to resume. We invited Gabi, a local teacher in a secondary school in Beijing to write about her own experience as a teacher over the past few months. Her report, prepared exclusively for SCEN, touches on innovative approaches by schools in Beijing to distance learning and engagement with parents over this demanding period. (Article linked in header above.)

SCEN Work During the Lockdown

SCEN work over this period is focusing on improving communications within SCEN. We have already contacted you with a survey about our website. If you have not already done so, could you please respond as soon as possible using the links below.  

SCEN Website Survey - 3 Minutes to Complete

SCEN Events and Ambassadors Survey - 4 Minutes to Complete

The result of the survey will help inform the way in which we develop our website and future communications within SCEN. 

We are also updating our contacts list so that it will be clearer who in SCEN you should contact about your own particular area of interest.

Youth Voice in SCEN
A priority for SCEN is enhancing youth voice within our networks. Even before the lockdown, face to face meetings of young people out with their own schools were proving nearly impossible to organise. SCEN is working with the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s schools (CISS) and e-Sgoil on line learning to develop ways in which school and university students associated with SCEN can help support the agenda of mandarin learning in Scotland. We are planning to organise a pilot project on this in the autumn term.

Chinese Teaching Club and Mandarin Teaching Materials
Lynnette martin, convener of the SCEN Chinese teaching club has been in touch with club members about developing further teaching materials for mandarin. This follows the successful publication by the club of a national 5 teaching resource, launched in November 2019. This is available on the SCEN website and a limited number of hard copies are available on application. If you are interested or able to assist please contact Lynnette on 

SCEN: Looking Ahead
All face to face SCEN activity is of course postponed for the time being. It is uncertain when this will resume. First up, we hope in September, is likely to be the postponed lecture by Professor Paola Subacchi, writer, academic and broadcaster, about economic developments in china. Along with the lecture, there will be a reception, an opportunity for the SCEN community to get together socially, informally – the first time following the terrible events associated with the Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, stay well. Your work in promoting the Chinese language is more important than ever.

Best wishes to you all,
Simon Macaulay (Chair of SCEN)