Chinese Craze Prevails in the UK and Chinese Learning Certainly Becomes a New Trend

[Source] [Time]    2017-09-08 16:34:10 

Recently a study surveying over 1,000 parents of juveniles in the UK showed that besides Indo-European languages, British parents want their children to learn Chinese most. Over half of the parents expressed that learning Chinese will contribute to the future development of the careers of their children, help broaden their horizons and let them know about China’s diversified culture.

Due to the geographic location of the UK, British people are most familiar with the Indo-European languages. In many schools in the UK, French is a compulsory course and lessons of German and Spanish are popular as well. However, in recent years, learning Chinese has become a new trend in the UK and many British parents think that Chinese is the most important language apart from Indo-European languages and will be important enough to influence the future of their children.

David Cameron, former British Prime Minister, once called on British children to “learn Chinese rather than French”. Quoting from Nelson Mandela, former South African President, he said that if you talk to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

“I hope the UK will connect with the fastest-growing economy in the world and this connection includes the language that our young people should learn. The language will prove useful in business in the future. When students enter into the society, China will become the largest economy in the world. Hence it is time for us to shift our focus from French and German to Chinese, having more children learn it”, said Cameron.

Last September, the University of London initiated and promoted a Chinese-teaching program for the first time ever in the UK. This program aims to cultivate at least 5,000 young British people with fluent Chinese by 2020. Young students participating in this program will take 8-hour Chinese lesson every week, during which they will spend 4 hours studying at school. This program, compared to the current second-language-learning program that offers one or two hours learning, lengthens the study time remarkably.

BBC also rolls out a free online course for Chinese learning, teaching Chinese language from basic tones by human voice and vivid situation-based teaching. Chinese learners can acquire the knowledge of Chinese greetings in a short time without costing a penny. In addition, 29 Confucius Institutes and 148 Confucius Classrooms in the UK now offer Chinese lessons, which is convenient for British people to learn Chinese and know about Chinese culture.

(Story by Han Meng,, Beijing, September 5th)


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