Our Staff

Natasha Bowman, Administrative Assistant

Natasha joined SCILT in 2014 as Administrative Assistant for CISS, after working in schools in both Asia and Africa.

Natasha provides administrative support to the Project Coordinator for all CISS events and projects. She is responsible for developing and maintaining CISS’s website and social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the Tianjin Scholars’ blog. Natasha manages CISS’s enquiry service and coordinates the production of the bi-annual CISS newsletter. She handles financial processes within the CISS office and oversees travel related bookings.

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8180

natasha.bowman@strath.ac.uk

Briony Burns, Modern Apprentice

After leaving school in June 2014 Briony decided to begin studying Early Education and Child Care at South Lanarkshire College. She studied here for two years but in 2016 decided that this wasn't the career path that she wished to follow. Since 2013 Briony had been involved in the Chinese group at Universal Connections where she became very interested in the Chinese language and culture. Briony was also fortunate enough to be able to take part in two cultural visits to China in 2014 and 2016, where her interest in China grew stronger. When she returned from China in 2014 Briony was able to gain her HSK level 1 qualification. She intends to start working towards the HSK 2 qualification at some point in the near future in order to increase her knowledge and understanding of Mandarin. Through Briony's experiences and visits to China she has gained a good knowledge and understanding of other languages and cultures and the importance of learning about them.

Through Briony's experiences with Universal Connections she realised she would like to have a jobwhich relates to China. Briony joined the CISS team in September 2016 as a Modern Apprentice. She is looking forward to learning and gaining new skills and qualifications as she works. Briony is also looking forward to learning more about China and how the Confucius Institute works at promoting the learning of Mandarin within schools and other organisations.

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8190

briony.burns@strath.ac.uk

Jiaxing Du, Mandarin Teacher

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

jiaxing.du@strath.ac.uk

Katie Hawkins, Project Coordinator

Katie joined SCILT in June 2012 as an Administrative Assistant with the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. In 2014, she became a Project- Coordinator for the organisation.

Katie has been interested in Asian culture from a young age and was lucky enough to spend her gap year teaching English in China at the age of 18. She then went on to study French and International Relations at the University of St Andrews where her interest in Asia continued to grow and she opted to write her final dissertation on Chinese politics. During her time at university she also had the opportunity to spend an extremely enjoyable year working as a Language Assistant in France.

Katie is a keen linguist and is currently trying to brush up some very rusty Mandarin skills. She is passionate about human rights and has been volunteering with asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow for the past four years. She loves travelling and learning about other cultures and is always planning the next adventure.

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8171

katie.hawkins@strath.ac.uk

Meryl James, Professional Development Officer

A Welsh speaker from Aberyswyth, Meryl is an enthusiastic advocate of other languages and culture. She read Russian, German and later Swedish at university. Meryl was a secondary teacher before she became Modern Languages Development Officer for Perth & Kinross, providing CLPL sessions and training for primary language learning, supporting the Confucius Classroom and foreign language assistants, and establishing the first business link between business and schools. Meryl is now the Senior Professional Development Officer at CISS.

Meryl supports the development of ‘Business Language Champions’ to help promote the learning of languages in our schools. These links are an effective way of increasing uptake in languages, especially when linked to the ‘Languages for Life and Work Award’. Meryl also collates Job Profiles from varied employment backgrounds which are an excellent resource to show how far language learning can take you.

Meryl has a lead role working with Project Trust, a charity which sends 17-19 year olds abroad for one year to work on a variety of projects. On their return to the UK the volunteers can take part in language promotional events with SCILT and CISS. This partnership supports the ‘Language Linking, Global Thinking’ initiative, where a volunteer is linked to a class and gives them a taste of living life in another country.

In light of CFE and 1+2, Meryl has focussed on developing cross-curricular approaches to language teaching. This was initially to provide support for the teaching of Mandarin in primary schools. Meryl, together with the team at CISS and in partnership with Le Français en Ecosse (LFEE), devised a series of ebooks which support the learning and teaching of Mandarin.

In the course of 2014-15, Meryl’s focus was on research commissioned by the British Council China and the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) to explore the value of Chinese language to British business and the status of Chinese language learning and teaching in schools and education institutions across the UK. The research was published in July 2015.

At the core of Meryl’s work is the provision of effective CLPL, organising CLPL events for the induction and ongoing CLPL needs for our Hanban teachers, the Chinese Teacher Network and colleagues in other sectors.

The implementation of effective CLPL has also involved working with partners such as RZSS (Edinburgh Zoo) to provide further contexts for learning and CLPL opportunism for teachers. Meryl led the first Teacher Immersion Course for CISS in the summer of 2014. The course ran again in 2015 and was attended by both primary teachers (who will work with Hanban teachers to deliver Mandarin L3) and secondary teachers who needed to deepen their knowledge of Mandarin to support the ‘Wider Achievement’ element of the curriculum in the Broad General Education or Senior Phase of the curriculum.

Meryl is currently working in GTCS Professional Recognition for teachers who would like to carry out research into language learning on their return from the course.

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8176

meryl.james@strath.ac.uk

Fan Lin, Depute Director

Fan Lin is the Depute Director of Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. As a qualified bilingual teacher in Chinese and English, she has been involved in the education profession for more than ten years, particularly in the teaching of Chinese, in both the UK and China. In May 2010, Fan was seconded to work as the general manager of the Confucius Institute at Learning and Teaching Scotland and then moved to the University of Strathclyde when CISS was launched in 2012. This role involves overseeing the promotion and development of Chinese language and culture in Scottish schools. Fan works closely with the Scottish Government and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters to set up and manage Confucius Classroom Hubs across Scotland. The close educational links Fan has fostered between China and Scotland help deliver the expectations of Scottish government’s China strategy and 1+2 language policy.

Fan was an associate tutor for the PGDE Chinese course at Edinburgh University from 2009 to 2013 and Vice Principal at Glasgow Chinese School, Stow College. Prior to this, Fan worked with the Scottish Qualifications Authority to develop National Qualifications in Chinese languages in Scotland. At the SQA Fan worked as both the Development Manager and Principal Assessor of Mandarin and Cantonese. As a Principal Assessor, Fan lead and coordinated a team of Chinese language teachers and used her expertise to ensure high standards and quality of assessment.

Fan has established CISS’s wide network with various stakeholders in the UK and China, such as the Chinese Embassy and Consulate, British Council, Scotland China Education Network, and most importantly, with Hanban. As well as working closely with Scottish partners, Fan also works with Chinese communities and business in Scotland, such as Glasgow Chinese School, Aberdeen Chinese association and Seewoo Chinese supermarket and restaurants.

Fan facilitated the expansion of the Confucius Classroom hubs network from 9 initially to 16, with further expansion planned by 2016. She negotiated a scholarship programme with our partners in Tianjin, which is now in its second year, and introduced immersion visits to China for Scottish teachers and headteachers. The exponential growth of CISS under Fan’s leadership led to CISS being awarded World Confucius Institute of the Year 2014.

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8168

fan.lin@strath.ac.uk

 

 

Judith McKerrecher, Professional Development Officer

Jude started teaching Modern Languages in Edinburgh in 1995. She was Curriculum Leader at Liberton High School and then Curriculum Leader at Craigmount High School. She is currently on secondment to The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools based at Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in the University of Strathclyde. 

This remit takes her to schools across Scotland to support teachers in primary and secondary schools with the introduction and progression of Mandarin. It includes supporting projects, designing and delivering Professional Learning for teachers and supporting the Hanban teachers with training throughout their time in Scottish schools.

Jude also liaises with schools which are launching their new Confucius Classroom Hubs in order to support the arrangements for launch events. Additionally, she helps to develop materials and deliver training to support hub staff in the effective teaching and learning of Mandarin as an L3 or curricular enrichment. 

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8177

judith.mckerrecher@strath.ac.uk

 

 

 

Fhiona Mackay, Director

Fhiona joined SCILT in 2012. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in French and English, Fhiona lived and worked in Paris before returning to Scotland to undertake a PGCE at the University of Strathclyde. 

Fhiona worked for several years in secondary schools, becoming Principal Teacher of Modern Languages in a large and vibrant department, offering French, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. During her time as a PT, she successfully set up exchange links for Scottish schools in Brittany and created opportunities for young people to take part in work experience placements in Europe. As a committed xenophile, she created opportunities for young people to learn about Chinese language and culture by organising study trips to Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. 

A passionate exponent of language learning, Fhiona spent a year at Education Scotland as a National Development Officer, where she worked with colleagues from partnership organisations such as the universities, local authorities, Scottish Government, SQA and the cultural organisations to promote and facilitate the learning and teaching of Modern Languages.

A staunch advocate of life-long learning, Fhiona recently successfully completed the first year of a degree level course in Spanish at Strathclyde and also speaks conversational German. 

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8163

fhiona.mackay@strath.ac.uk

Mandy Reeman-Clark, Senior Administrator

Mandy has been with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages for nearly 10 years after working as a primary ICT teacher in the Middle East. She is responsible for the overall administrative, financial and strategic running of the Centre and assists the Centre’s Director and Chinese Manager/Director in liaison with government and Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, in facilitating meetings, events and projects across both SCILT and CISS, the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. She is directly involved with SCILT’s many networks and works in close liaison with SCILT’s strategic partnerships, disseminating information through the Cultural Organisations and Local Authorities Group (COALA).

In 2012 SCILT took on the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools which promotes Chinese language learning and culture across 12 hubs in Scotland. Mandy now works with the CISS Chinese Director and the CISS team to help manage the many projects involved in the running of the Institute, along with supporting and attending visits to China as part of the senior management team.

Principal roles include responsibility for administration of SCILT and CISS finances and contracts; recruitment and induction of staff and management of staff issues; design and production of key documents supplied by the centre; overall responsibility for all outreach and national conferences and ICT support at events and for both centres.

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8164

mandy.reeman-clark@strath.ac.uk

Li Tian, Chinese Director

Before coming to Scotland, Li Tian taught high school English for 16 years in Tianjin, China. She started as a classroom teacher before being promoted to Principal Teacher of the Languages De-partment, and then Director of International Department at the high school affiliated to Nankai Uni-versity, one of the best universities in China.

In 2007, Li Tian was awarded the opportunity to work as a visiting scholar. For four months she taught Chinese language and culture in primary schools in Philadelphia, USA. Through this experi-ence, she has become more aware of the methodology of teaching languages and culture. Since then Li Tian has been doing educational research in the area of motivating students and increasing their interest in learning languages and cultures, using different methodologies and multi-media. Li Tian has a good relationship with her students and the majority of them have been admitted to top uni-versities at home and oversees. She is interested in professional development and grasps opportuni-ties to develop in her profession.

Li Tian is excited to have been given the opportunity to work in Scotland. She is employed by the Tianjin Education Committee, the Hanban and Confucius Institute Headquarters, and has come to Scotland to support the work of CISS. She is looking forward to finding out more about the Scottish education system, and to working with the motivated teaching colleagues in the languages community.

While she is in Scotland, Li Tian will be working as Chinese Director for CISS, liaising with CISS, teachers across Scotland, the Chinese Hanban and all the Confucius Classroom Hubs. Li Tian’s main responsibilities include supporting the Tianjin teachers, helping them make the most of their time, teaching, learning and developing in Scotland.

Contact

LH-232 Lord Hope Building
University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8160

l.tian@strath.ac.uk

Yi Zeng, Mandarin Teacher

In August 2016, Yi Zeng joined the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools as a Mandarin teacher and is very delighted to have been given this opportunity to work in Scotland.

In 2014, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Fujian Normal University in the major of Teaching Chinese as a Second language. After that, he passed the selection held by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and went to Confucius Institute at Angeles University in Philippines to work as a volunteer teacher for 13 months. In September 2015, he became a member of the Institute of Global Chinese Language Teacher Education in East China Normal University.

He thinks teaching is a very interest and challenging job. He has taught students from a lot of countries; the Philippines, Indonesia, America, Vietnam, France and organised a series of Chinese cultural activities, like the Spring festival, the Mid-autumn festival and so on. All of that let him experience different kinds of thinking and cultures.

He is an enthusiastic advocate of other languages and culture. He can speak Chinese fluently and speaks basic French and Indonesian. He is looking forward to facing different kinds of challenges and building up friendly relationships with his colleagues.

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building

University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

Tel: 0141 444 8170

y.zeng@strath.ac.uk

Minrong Zhang, Mandarin Teacher

Contact

LH-233 Lord Hope Building

University of Strathclyde
141 St James Road
Glasgow, G4 0LT

minrong.zhang@strath.ac.uk