What our students say
I have always enjoyed learning languages whenever I have free time, so when I saw that Richmond was offering Chinese at The Centre for Modern Languages I was more than ecstatic. Languages are helpful at any age, and having them available to take while at university was great.
The Centre for Modern Languages has experienced and helpful faculty – useful because learning a new language is hard for anyone. Although this is taught at university level, the Professor makes you feel comfortable with the content and pace, while still having you understand the basics in a semester. An example of the quality of professors available is George Zhang, the chair of the Centre for Modern Languages. We used a textbook that was written by George himself, in the class. Therefore he understands what needs to be tackled throughout the course.
This has been a great experience in my journey at Richmond and it has proven to be a valuable skill now and no doubt will be throughout my life and career.
My experience so far at Richmond has been nothing short of incredible! The professors are exceptional and possess unique landscapes and objectivity within their courses. Additionally, I must say that the classes are comfortable and garner a comprehensive selection of subjects. As a Financial Economics Major, I have particularly embraced the Modern Language Programme here at Richmond. I am fluent in Mandarin, and thoroughly appreciated the study of Chinese literature and culture which is helpful in bridging cultural gaps. Richmond prides itself on its expertise when it comes to creating programs to satisfy students’ goals – Richmond, Simply Amazing!”
Meet the professors
Professor George X Zhang, PhD, Hon FCIL
Director, the Centre for Modern Languages
Dr George X Zhang is Professor of Chinese and Director of the Centre for Modern Languages, in the School of Liberal Arts of the university. He has over thirty years’ experience in language teaching in British and Chinese universities as well as commercial experience in management consultancy and training. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in China and obtained his PhD from the University of Nottingham in 1991. He was first appointed as a professor in language education by a Chinese university in 1994.
Before joining Richmond University, Professor Zhang was the Director of SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Language Centre, University of London and the Director of London Confucius Institute (the first Confucius Institute in the UK). He has participated and managed quite a few projects on Chinese language learning and teaching, including EBCL (European Benchmarks for Chinese Language), the first EU funded non-European language CEFR benchmark project (2010-12), which he coordinated between 2010 and 2011. He was the Chair of British Chinese Language Teaching Society (BCLTS) between 2006 and 2008.
Professor Zhang is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and an associate researcher of PLIDAM, INALCO (institut national des langues et civilisations orientales). He also serves as a vice president for the European Association of Chinese Teaching (EACT). As a language specialist, Professor Zhang sits on a number of national and regional language education boards or organisations, and he also lectures extensively all over Europe and other parts of the world.
Professor Zhang has researched and published on language policy, language learning and teaching, teacher training, intercultural communications and cross cultural business management. He is an author of a number of books, including several Chinese language textbooks, of which the Chinese in Steps series won the Outstanding International Chinese Teaching Material Award at the Fifth Confucius Conference in December 2010.
Professor Tim Connell
Professor Tim Connell is an Emeritus Professor of City University London where he served as Director of Language Studies for nearly twenty years before his retirement. With over forty years’ experience in higher education in London, much of which is related to language learning and teaching.
He Professor Tim Connell is a graduate of Oxford, Liverpool and London universities, and has also studied in Spain and Mexico. His particular languages are Spanish, French and Portuguese and he has extensive experience of both Spain and Latin America.
Professor Connell’s expertise extends far more beyond language learning and language teaching. As he said himself, he has “a lifetime’s experience of operating in multi-lingual international teams, dealing with a wide range of students across all disciplines, and liaising with different types of organisation”.
Professor Connell also enjoys a high profile in language learning and teaching both domestically and internationally, working not only within the UK university sector, but also with both European and overseas institutions and professional bodies. Professor Connell know the language market very well, and is often ahead of change in the field. He is Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, which offers examinations in 35 countries and is currently expanding in the Far East and also served as the chair the Institute of Linguists’ Educational Trust Board. Professor Connell has also delivered numerous guest lectures and been involved many consultancy assignments concerning language learning and language teaching.