The English UK Teachers' Conference -- worth travelling 6,000 miles to attend, says Jane Li
13 November 2012

When Jane Ji's brother told her about the English UK teachers' conference, she decided it sounded too good to miss.

So she got in touch with the professional services team to explain that she wanted to attend... from China. Surprised but delighted, the team swung into action to write her a visa letter, and Mrs Ji combined her day at the conference with her first-ever trip to London.

Smiling broadly, Mrs Ji, headteacher at Unibridge in in Shenyang for the past eight years, explained why she was so keen to attend. "My brother said it would be a good chance for me -- we have students learning English from kindergarten.

"I just wanted to get more information about everything. I have 2000 students learning English, and I train teachers,  and I was quite interested in getting inspiration and more information. I have learned lots already: I had never heard of Clil [Content and language integrated learning] before today. I am very pleased to be here."

Mrs Ji said she was enjoying the chance to share experiences with other delegates, and hearing thought-provoking presentations, such as Jeremy Harmer's plenary which urged teachers to constantly challenge themselves on teaching methods, testing, and other parts of their work.

But she added that the chance to experience London was equally important for a teacher of English. "China is totally different. The culture is different in Europe and that means when you teach English you have to overcome obstacles -- what is this or that about? And you can't get all of that from a website.

"I saw Trafalgar Square for the first time yesterday, yet I've written about it in tests. I went to Piccadilly. You just have to experience these things for yourself --it transforms your ideas. I like being here very much."

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