First Confucius Classroom opens in Lisbon, Portugal

[Source]    Xinhuanet [Time]    2014-08-08 14:05:50 

LISBON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The opening ceremony of the first Confucius Classroom in Portugal was held in the country’s capital city Lisbon. This Confucius Classroom was jointly established by the Confucius Institute at the Universidade de Lisboa and the Colégio de S. Tomás.

Representative of Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science Fernando Reyes remarked at the ceremony that in recent years, as the exchanges between China and Portugal have become more frequent, an increasing number of Portuguese start to learn Chinese. He said that the establishment of the Confucius Classroom at the Colégio de S. Tomás marks the official inclusion of Chinese language education into the primary and secondary school education systems in Portugal, which is significant for the cooperation in science, education, and culture and will enhance mutual understanding between the two countries.

Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban Madam Xu Lin noted that as globalization continues to deepen, exchanges in economy and trade, science and technology, culture and education among countries have greatly increased. She said that Hanban truly hopes the Confucius Classroom at the Colégio de S. Tomás can build a bridge between China and Portugal to promote the communication and cooperation in various fields and enhance mutual understanding and trust between Chinese and Portuguese peoples.

Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Portugal Shu Jianping said that the Confucius Classroom at the Colégio de S. Tomás will certainly play an important role in facilitating exchanges between the two peoples and the development of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

As an extension of Confucius Institutes, Confucius Classrooms offer Chinese language courses to primary and secondary school students overseas. In September this year, the Confucius Classroom at the Colégio de S. Tomás will officially open to its first batch of students. All the teachers are carefully chosen and sent by Hanban. The fifth and seventh graders will have four Chinese language classes every week, where they can acquire basic skills in daily Chinese conversation and learn about Chinese culture and history. The test scores of Chinese language courses will be included in the credit system. Besides, the Confucius Classroom will set up some extra Chinese classes at its host school to encourage more children to study Chinese and arouse their interest in the language.

by Feng Jiejun