The Guardian’s Julie Nightingale reports the increasing number of Chinese assistants coming to UK secondary schools to support the teaching of Chinese language and culture:

Eric Yu looks taken aback when asked his age. “Thirty-four,” he replies, cheerfully bemused and presumably wondering whether he’s about to be asked any other vital statistics.

Most European language assistants in UK schools are in their late teens or early 20s, but Yu is not a late developer; he’s Chinese. And the Chinese assistants who come here to support the increasing numbers of schools now teaching Mandarin are all qualified teachers with several years of experience under their belts.

Yu has a BA in English and teaches in a Shanghai secondary school. He’s spending a year at Djanogly city academy in Nottingham, supporting the school’s programme of Mandarin language and Chinese culture.

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