Chinese learning program in Britain sees steady progress

Updated 2018-06-19 11:14:33 Xinhua

More than 60 schools and 3,000 students in Britain now join a Chinese learning program sponsored by the British government, latest figures have shown.

The figures, released recently at the 15th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference held by the IOE Confucius Institute of University College London, revealed the fast steady progress of UK Department for Education's Mandarin Excellence Program (MEP).

The program, launched in 2016, is a unique yet intensive Chinese language program which will see at least 5,000 British pupils on track to achieving a high level of fluency by 2020.

Katharine Carruthers, IOE Confucius Institute Director, told Xinhua that there are currently more than 1,400 pupils from 37 schools on the program in the year 2017-2018, compared with only 14 schools in the first year.

For the academic year 2018-2019, the number of schools joining the project will rise to over 60, she said.

She recalled that at the very beginning it was not easy to talk to school headmasters about the program, but after two years' efforts and development, "more school head teachers are motivated by pupil parents' enthusiasm on learning Chinese and want to be part of it."

The reason, she believed, is that many British parents realized that Mandarin Chinese could open up a world of opportunity as the most spoken language in the world.

"Now I am very confident (about the MEP target). It will be no problem at all," she said, adding that "we clearly want the MEP to go beyond 2020."

All students on the MEP need to receive four hours of teacher-taught classroom lessons each week. This will contribute towards a program of eight hours of study per week, which could consist of a combination of the teacher taught classroom lessons, after-school teaching, self-study and intensive study courses in China and the UK.

Carruthers said in late June and July, about 300 students who had joined MEP for two years would travel to China to have a two-week intensive language learning in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

The one-million-pound MEP is jointly carried out by IOE Confucius Institute and British Council. According to a survey by British Council, mandarin has been identified as one of the most important languages for the UK's future prosperity.

See Also

Most Popular

Sky Running Comes to Asia

This February saw the first ever Asian Sky Running Championship race come to Hong Kong. The competition is one of the most physically demanding a runner can put their body through.

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords