Interest in Chinese language explodes in Britain

17:20, February 22, 2011      

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With the outbreak of a Chinese language learning craze in Britain, more and more British schools are offering Chinese courses, and the Chinese language is receiving more attention, which has brought about a new development opportunity.

Currently, there are nearly 100,000 people in the United Kingdom enrolled in Chinese language learning classes, and the United Kingdom has opened a total of 13 Confucius Institutes and 54 Confucius Classrooms.

And with the further development of Sino-British relations and a steady bilateral exchanges, there are promising development opportunities for the Chinese teaching, said Tian Xiaogang, minister counselor of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom, in a seminar on Chinese language teaching held in London on Feb. 17.

Tian hopes the Chinese language teachers and Chinese teaching volunteers who work in the United Kingdom can work as folk cultural ambassadors to make greater contributions for the promotion of the Chinese language in the United Kingdom.

Nearly a hundred Chinese teachers from the all of the United Kingdom's Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms attended the seminar, where they exchanged view on the opportunities and challenges that Chinese language teaching faces in the United Kingdom and how to further promote Chinese language teaching.

Chen Shicun, from China's Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical University, teaches Chinese in a high school that is part of the United Kingdom's Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. He uses a variety of lively teaching methods in his class so that the students can also understand traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese culture while learning the Chinese language.

Chen said his courses are divided into two parts. A large part is aimed at how to lose weight and how to using traditional Chinese medicine to treat pain. Another focus is aimed at primary and secondary students. They do not have any contact with Chinese culture, so we want to let them understand acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and our Qigong treatment through some simple activities, such as teaching the students to do the acupuncture experiment on the fruits and do medicine classification.

Chen Tongdu, Hanban's U.K. representative, said: "I think the development of the Confucius Institute focus mainly on two aspects: one is stressing quality, not quantity. The other is to solve problems with the textbook, teachers and lessons — these three key issues. This is the key aspect that the Confucius Institute continues to develop. "

By Yan Meng, People's Daily Online


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