PGCE Mandarin 英国教师资格证

PGCE Mandarin @ IOE, UCL

Interested in becoming a Mandarin teacher in the U.K.?
Interested in becoming a qualified Mandarin teacher in the U.K.?
Interested in becoming a Mandarin teacher in U.K. secondary school?
If so, I hope this post is helpful for you!

If you already have a degree, consider a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). 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 your chosen subject(s) – usually to degree level – before you start training. - Department of Education

PGCE  is a qualification that needed for people who want to become a teacher in U.K. state schools. (This is not usually compulsory in independent school)

GTP is another type of teacher training. (Click here)

I have completed my PGCE Secondary in Teaching Mandarin Chinese and EAL in the Institute of Education, University of London back in September 2011.

It was a full time course (i.e. 1 year).

I was required to complete:
1. Two pieces of M-Level Assignment, around 10,000 words.
2. ARF (Assessment Record File) 
3. Two school placements

From now on, I'm going to talk about how I feel about my PGCE life.

Okay, so, My PGCE was... A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!
Believe me, it was really really amazing. I would say it was the best period in my life time. o(^--^)o

I wanted to become a teacher since I was small. However, I was struggling in making my decision when I was completing my degree - Early Childhood Studies. I couldn't tell if teaching is the right one for me. I decided to take it after all, because I truly believe becoming a teacher is part of my life mission!

I enjoyed my PGCE very much because it was a practical course. I always looked forward to have practical tasks. When I did my degree, I was so confused how do I actually apply all the theories I learnt in lectures in my future life. And PGCE has shown me all of it.

Yes, PGCE was tired, but it was fulfilling. I had to complete my assignments and my school teaching at the same time. Marking, lesson planning, after school club, parent's evening, reports, readings, replying email...etc. Fortunately, I had a great time management for myself, so that I didn't mess up everything. (I even managed to eat Yo!Sushi. once in 2 weeks when I started my second placement . Haha.)

In my PGCE year, I met many new friends, not only in the university, but also in my school placements, SSAT course & conference and Hanban training. Different teachers. Different teaching. Different stories. They are all INSPIRING! (Don't miss any training, as they are all wonderful!)

Of course, there is always time when things doesn't go smoothly, especially when you are a trainee teacher. It happened on me, I still remembered it was back in December 2011. I lost. I teared. I cried. But it didn't stop me from moving forward. SGI President, Daisaku Ikeda once said, "If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow." I still have this quote in my room now. It really keep me making my step forward. :)

I think one of the good things as a trainee teacher is you are forgivable when you make mistake because you are trained to become a professional. Ah, and you are allowed to make experiment in the classroom (I meant like trying new teaching style, games/activities. Not bombing the classroom please -___-;;)

ADVICE: Most of the PGCE Mandarin students that I met during my PGCE year were mothers (i.e. they have their own children). It was quite struggling, as they not only need to looking after their family, they also need to plan lesson, work on their assignments...etc. But anyhow, WE ALL GRADUATED SUCCESSFULLY after one year! (^---^)


10th Annual Chinese Conference 2013

Workshop title: Creativity in the teaching of Chinese: Developing learning games and fun classroom activities.
Presenter: Sheautian Tan
Co-presenter: I-Han Huang

If you are interested in fun, creative and enhanced positive learning, this workshop is for you. This workshop will introduce a variety of classroom activities (based on the four learning skills). These will be tried and tested activities, particularly aimed at Key Stage 3. The activities will include a mixture of games, animation, internet, music and videos. There will also be a focus on how to work creatively in making presentations interesting to enhance students' learning.

Click ME to download the presentation of the workshop.

Note: Explanation of each game/activity has been written on each slide note.

From now on, I'm going to talk about how I feel about giving a workshop yesterday.

Today is the 10th Annual Chinese conference in the UK, which was organised by the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools; IOE 孔子学院.

Both me and I-Han (the best co-presenter ever!) were very pleased to have a chance to give workshop in the conference for other teachers from all over the UK.

We presented twice. The first one was the most unforgettable experience. We couldn't get Powerpoint show up from the projector at the beginning. Guests were coming into our room non-stoply, there even not enough chairs to sit. Guests were standing. Around 100 of them were in the room!! (Both of us were really shocked. Yes, S.H.O.C.K)

One of the teachers asked "When are you two going to start the talk? Its 10 minutes late now." We were panic, but we then decided to make a start while waiting someone to fix the projector.

So, I was standing at the front and started talking about the creative games we used in our classrooms. I was very very very nervous, because many experienced teachers, Head of MFL, Head of Mandarin and even some headteachers were part of the audiences!!! (T___T)

After 15min, finally the projector was fixed and our talk went much better. (Powerpoint, we love you) The audiences showed a really really great interest in our workshop!

When the first workshop ended, I realised there is no handout left on the tables. We printed out 75 copies, and we thought it was enough, but we didn't even have any handouts left for the 2nd session!!! (>__<!!)

After that, lots of teachers came to us giving us very positive feedback. They loved it, they enjoyed it, they learnt lots of things from our workshop!

Thank you for the IOE for giving us such as great opportunity. Thank you for all teachers who came to our workshop to support us.

Comments from teachers/Heads:
"It was a wonderful presentation!"

"Your activities are so creative. I am going to use them in my French/Spanish lesson!"

"Your lessons must be great fun! Lots of interesting activities and games. I am gonna steal some of them and use it in my lessons. Haha."

"Your teaching resources are so beautiful. You must have used lots of time on them! Amazing!"

"I-Han, I am very looking forward to work with you next year. These great activities are exactly what we need in our school!" Head of MFL of I-Han's new school said.

"Long time no see, Tian! You have changed so much. It was really a great presentation. Well done! Can I have your contact details please? Lets keep in touch!"

"Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing all your great ideas and resources. They are amazing!"

"How long have you been teaching your school?"/"About 1 year."/"Really?! But from your teaching resources and ideas, you look like you have been teaching for many years! Wow!"

"How old are you?"/"I am 22"/"You are young!!"  - My age and what I am currently doing now always make me feel proud!\(^---^)/

"When I first saw the programme schedule, I quickly made a mark on your workshop. I tell myself I definitely come to your workshop! And I think I made the right choice!"


After the first workshop, both of us were exhausted. We were supposed to have our lunch after that, but we kept thinking about what had happened earlier on. Lots of people... Projector didn't work... Trying to share as many ideas as possible. Anyway, our second workshop was another success too!

I personally want to say a big thank you to my BEST co-presenter and the most lovely colleague, I-Han jiejie! We have great teamwork! You are a STAR! ★

WE HAD MADE IT! I-HAN, 赞赞赞!(*^ o ^*)/

I believe this definitely is one of the BEST experiences in our life ever. Yeah, I-Han? ^^


Lingling said...

I love your quote as well---"If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow." As a mom, I find it very struggling and hard as I am doing my PGCE, but I obsolutely enjoy it. I love our classmates. They are all very helpful. I totally agree that PGCE is a very unforgettable and valuable experience. I have lovely classmate, very professional and nice tutor and every experienced and professional mentor. I am very lucky to have this experience in my life. Again, thank you very much for sharing your resources with us! 好人一生平安!

mark said...

Many Thanks for your information. How much does it cost to do the PGCE? Also, is it possible to do the PGCE in China by any chance?

sheautian said...


PGCE costs around £11000+ for international student.

As far as I'm awared, you only can complete PGCE in the UK. Because every country provide different teacher training.

Hope this helps!

Shannon said...

Dear sheautian,
Thank you for sharing this valuable information with me! I did my MA in English language teaching at Warwick University last year. I was meant to go back to Taiwan and teach English there but I met my boyfriend in the UK and am seeking job as Mandarin teacher here. Sadly, most of employers don't support work visa for me...I wanted to do the PGCE but it seems that they don't sponsor student visa for international students, either. I am desperate for advice and your past experience...Thank you very much!!

sky_princess said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am very interested in the course!I have few questions about PGCE:1.Do you know how many people your training provider take on the course every year?2.Do I have to master another language in order to get into the course? And lastly, did everyone all get a job when complete the course? Thank you so much for your time:)

sheautian said...


I'm not sure if there is a visa sponsorship from the IOE. You could email them and ask. :)


1. The IOE takes up to 10 people each year the PGCE Mandarin.

2. You don't have to master another European language to get the PGCE course. IOE provide teaching in Mandarin and EAL, which I chosen that last time.

3. Yes, from what I know, my friends they got a job when they completed the course, some of them work for part time.

Hope this is helpful! and sorry for my very late reply!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sheautian,
I like your sharing experiences and have some questions about PGCE and EAL course:
did you find a job in UK?
where did most of your classmate come from? did they get a working visa in UK?

Anni Chai said...

Hi. Thanks for your warm sharing.

I am currently working in Hong Kong as a Chinese teacher in International School. I want to take PGCE (Mandarin) program in IOE. I am wondering how I can apply for this program. Thanks for your messages. You can email me anytime :


Anonymous said...

Hi Thanks for sharing the valuable information. I am currently working as a Chinese/Mandarin teacher in a private school in London. I have a Chinese teacher qualification and the major of my master degree is very relevant to my current job. It is Applied Linguistic & Language Pedagogy in SOAS, University of London. I am planing to study PGCE part time. Is there any chance that I can ask you some questions by email? or we chat? My email is My we chat ID is 245281203. My mobile number is 07873921949.

Florence said...

Hi Sheautian,your story was so lovely to read and very encouraging too!
I would love to ask you more details about the course and job perspectives, would be very grateful if you could send me your personal contacts. My email is and my wechat id is Chinglish Housewife. Many thanks!

International Foundation Group said...

Many Thanks for sharing this Informative blog post.
may i request you to write detailed post on Teacher Development Programme

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheautian, Thank you for sharing the experience with us! Your story is inspiring! I want to ask you more details about Mandarin pathway(with French as second language ) Is it possible to add you on WeChat or send your an email? I will be so grateful to you. My WeChat ID is karensylina and my email is Thank you so much and wish you all the best!