Chinese language studies becoming popular in France

08:11, November 11, 2009      

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The study of Chinese has become increasingly popular in France, says a French sinologist.

More and more middle schools and universities in France have begun to offer Chinese classes, Joel Bellassen said during a recent talk with Kong Quan, the Chinese ambassador to France.

Among the 30 school districts across France, 27 now offer Chinese classes, including some in the remote areas, said Bellassen, the Chinese learning inspector in the Education Ministry.

About 25,600 middle school students were registered to study Chinese in September, a large increase from the less than 5,000 students 10 years ago, Bellassen said.

There now are 44,000 school students learning Chinese in France, including 16,000 university students and about 2,000 primary school students, Bellassen said.

In addition, the number of Chinese teachers in France has grown to 430, up from less than 30 in the 1980s when the French Teachers of Chinese Association was established, he said.

In Bellassen's view, the support of China's government is an important reason for the promotion of Chinese language studies in France.

Kong said that China has made vigorous efforts in recent years to promote Chinese language learning in France, including dispatching teachers to the country, offering text books to educational organizations, and promoting Chinese language tests such as the HSK and BCT.

Source: Xinhua
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