UK govt says schools should teach Mandarin to all teenagers

Every teenager should have the chance to learn Mandarin due to the growing importance of China in world events, according to the UK government. One in seven secondary schools, which teach pupils aged 11-16, currently offer Mandarin and Schools Secretary Ed Balls said he wanted to extend this through language partnerships between schools.

From the BBC website this week:

All secondary school pupils in England should have the chance to learn a less familiar language such as Mandarin, says Children’s Secretary Ed Balls.

Mandarin has become increasingly popular in schools – with one in seven now teaching the subject.

Making it more widely available is an cialis order “aspiration” rather than a pledge – and could mean schools and colleges sharing specialist language

teaching staff.

Mr Balls highlighted the economic importance of learning languages.

As well as Mandarin, he pointed to the growing importance of Portuguese for trading with Brazil, Spanish in Argentina and Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia.

Emerging economies

“A growing number of schools are now teaching Mandarin and in the coming years I think we will see this subject sitting alongside French, Spanish and German as one of the most popular languages for young people to learn,” said Mr Balls.

“In this new decade our ties with emerging economies like China will become even more important and it’s vital that young people are equipped with the skills which they need, and British businesses need too, in order to succeed in a rapidly-changing world,” he said.

So what is the New Zealand government’s stance?

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.

2 Comments

  1. Alice Tubbs says:

    My 6 year olds are in there second term of Mandarin. Thanks to a preschool teacher who took on the task of starting her own class. After I told her it could only be a dream, a vision if you will, to have my blond twins embasodors to China.
    Thank you to Mrs. Tan & Mrs Kwok for making a diference.
    Alice

  2. Right they are. Only I think that getting native speakers to teach online (such as at http://www.glovico.org) might be the most appropriate way to get sound Mandarin education! Best, Tobias

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