The deal, which came after almost two years of negotiations and trade talks, will see GES’ Key Links Literacy series distributed throughout Chinese schools as a supplement to government textbooks.
“We produce materials that offer students a window to the world”
“We produce materials that offer students a window to the world, rather than a mirror of their own,” said GES director Tracy Strudley.
“We know today we have really time-poor teachers and some teachers that don’t have a lot of experience. There’s a lot of young teachers in schools today.”
Developed by GES product development and education director Jill Eggleton, who received the 2015 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for lifetime achievement to New Zealand literature and literacy, the books are targeted at primary school students.
However, discussions are underway for titles for the secondary school sector.
Speaking with The PIE News, Strudley said there was an increased interest in China to develop and use the best teaching pedagogies available.
“What I’ve learned about China is they are right up with the players as far as researching the importance of teaching comprehension at the same time as teaching decoding skills,” she said.
“They recognise there’s importance around collaboration and creativity and that allows and encourages students to talk about the text and to think deeply about what they’re reading.”
Director of the basic education publishing division at Chinese-based FLTRP, Zhang Lixin, said the books filled a need within the country’s curriculum.
“The Key Links series is well designed and follows many of the requirements in the newly released National Curriculum,” he said.
In 2016, China announced plans to roll out a national English proficiency test by 2020 which would replace the highly varied standards throughout the country.