International Chinese Class Launched at Prestigious School in Paris --Deputy Minister Hao Ping, Ambassador Kong Quan and His Wife, Minister Counselor Zhu Xiaoyu Visit Lycée Janson de Sailly

[Source]    Education Office at Chinese Embassy in France [Time]    2010-10-18 13:45:51 

Group photo of guests with teachers and students of the international Chinese class

Paris, October 13th—on the afternoon, accompanied by Patrick Gerard, the Academy of Paris, Chinese Deputy Minister of Education Hao Ping, Chinese Ambassador to France Kong Quan and his wife, Minister Counselor Zhu Xiaoyu paid a visit to Lycée Janson de Sailly, a prestigious Paris school with a history of more than 120 years. Principal Any Forestier led teachers and students of the international Chinese class as well as the students’ parents in giving a warm welcome to their Chinese guests.

Deputy Minister Hao Ping, Ambassador Kong Quan and his wife attended a demonstration lesson of the international class, during which the students performed Chinese songs and told the Chinese fairy tale “Chang’e Flies to the Moon”. Principal Forestier explained that her school has two great advantages: one is that the school is a comprehensive school, offering classes ranging from junior high school to preparatory courses in Arts, Science and Business; the other is that the school has a multicultural atmosphere and welcomes students from all over the world.

Deputy Minister Hao Ping and Ambassador Kong Quan attending a demonstration lesson
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At the welcome ceremony Rector Gerard stated that France had witnessed an increasing enthusiasm for learning Chinese among students. There were only 600 Chinese learners in the Academy of Paris 15 years ago, but now some 4,200 primary and secondary school students are engaged in Chinese learning. Chinese language has enjoyed the fastest increase in numbers of learners. “We are glad to see that more and more young people are involved in Chinese learning, this creates an opportunity for cultural exchange and for the development of Sino-French friendship,” he said.

At the ceremony Deputy Minister Hao Ping said, “The French School has had great success in offering the international Chinese course, this in turn will help promote cultural and language exchanges between the two countries. The world’s future is in the hands of young people, from the midst of whom will emerge great scientists, writers and statesmen. You students of the international class are under the mission of promoting exchanges and friendship between China and France. I am sure that you will make contributions to this effort. I will soon meet with the French Minister of Higher Education and Research and I will recommend that our two governments make joint efforts to support the international course and make it one of the most outstanding Chinese classes in the world! ”

Afterwards a book donation ceremony took place. Deputy Minister Hao Ping presented the school 558 books, including Chinese-French dictionaries, teaching materials, literature and picture-story books, as well as abacuses, writing brushes and exercise books. The students looked over the new books happily.

Ambassador Kong Quan said in an interview that the international Chinese class has achieved remarkable successes since its launch one month ago. Students show great enthusiasm for the course and have many expectations. “The class has a high starting point since most of its students have basic Chinese skills. Still, I hope that there will be a boarder mix in students enrolling for the class; this means different Chinese levels and a requirement for teachers at all levels. Secondly, Chinese should not only be learnt as a language, but also be used as a learning tool. Next, we have plans to teach physics and even history in Chinese, ” he said.

Minister Counselor Zhu Xiaoyu explained that as in other schools, Chinese and math courses for the class are given in Chinese in Lycée Janson de Sailly. The Chinese Embassy in France and the Ministry of Education are in discussion with their French counterparts about teaching more non-language subjects such as physics in Chinese. This initiative should receive approval from the French Ministry of Education. The Chinese side attaches importance to the program. Hanban has sent two teachers who can speak French to teach math and Chinese: good teaching results have been created over the past month.

The International Chinese Class in France is a product of multicultural education, its aim that of meeting demands for special education. It has turned cultural difference into an advantage, helping students understand the differences in cultures, values and thinking models between China and France and cultivated numerous talents with international vision. In June 2008, the Chinese and French Ministries of Education signed an administrative arrangement on the “international Chinese class” program; this was launched in September in 12 primary and secondary schools in 8 academies of France with a total of 144 students. To date there have been 431 students involved in the program, amongst whom, 180 are from the academy of Paris. The program has raised Chinese language’s status within the French national education system and provided a better learning environment. It has made a big step towards helping Chinese education enter the realms of Frances formal education system.

Thanks to Ambassador Kong Quan’s great efforts, the program was launched in Lycée Janson de Sailly this September, marking a new phase in the promotion of Chinese language in France and representing great progress in Chinese education.

Education Office at Chinese Embassy in France

October 14th, 2010