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Staff Profile: Ms. J. Cai

Ms. J. Cai

Head of Mandarin, Balmoral D House Tutor

Ms Cai has been teaching languages since 2005, having originally read Education at Huazhong Normal University in the mainland China.  She subsequently gained a Linguistics Master's degree with Distinction from City University, Hong Kong, and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma.  She joined Nord Anglia International School in 2015, and was promoted to Department Head the following year.

She takes great pleasure in teaching, and champions language acquisition as the expansion of consciousness itself.  She perceives children's linguistic understanding as being inseparable from those vistas of the mind in whose broadening vibrant societies shall flourish.  These processes are the substrates of a person's growth, both inner and outer.  She treats her students' cultures as their homes, her classroom as a window, and her subject as a door to imagining horizons yet unseen.  Learning is transformation, and each new word, concept, and determined step towards cultivating skill feeds knowledge of one's power to transform.

Her students bring to school their passionate sense of belonging to a certain identity, and their curiosity about others' inner worlds.  Where the two begin to mingle, she facilitates the exchange by providing ingeniously designed and immersive activities filled with laughter as well as challenges, fluency and naturalness being always her goal.  A 'positive learning environment' is simply a forum where learning and happiness can happen together.  Very seldom is it a quiet place!

When she's not going to conferences or training workshops or on skills-sharing weekends, she likes to relax at the theatre – in the back row if possible – and let someone else weave magic at the centre of their own stage.  Likewise the cinema, though there's more effort to be made there because she's often already read the book!  Adaptations fascinate her.  She also writes calligraphy at home, travels when she can, and as ex-Captain of her university team, still tells people that she plays basketball.