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Pilot project for Chinese language instruction to be offered in secondary schools

时间:2017-03-03 10:13:41  来源:  作者:

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A pilot project for the teaching of the Chinese language in State secondary schools is to start in the next scholastic year. Chinese is already taught at the University. Melvic Zammit spoke with a student who is fascinated by this language and would like to eventually teach it.

The Education Directorate is exploring the possibility of introducing the choice of learning Chinese in State secondary schools.

Dr Phyllisienne Gauci, coordinator of the National Campaign for Foreign Languages, said discussions are being held for a pilot project to begin in September on the teaching of Chinese in first-year classes at Santa Margerita College, which includes Cospicua Middle School and Verdala Secondary School.

“Chinese is actually taught in very few Independent or Church schools. The intention is that if everything goes well we will include Chinese as a language of choice for students to be able to continue with their studies in this language,” Dr Gauci explained.

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Dr Gauci added that knowledge of this language would be beneficial, particularly because of the ever-growing importance of China both in economic and commercial circles and also in diplomacy. Diplomatic relations between Malta and China have existed for 45 years, with both countries having a number of agreements besides diplomatic representation in Beijing and Malta.

The University of Malta also offers Bachelor degree courses in Chinese, with some 18 students attending, and a Diploma course which is attended by four students.

One of these students, Luana Cini, explained that for one to have a strong grasp of the Chinese language, one has to know between 3,000 and 4,000 characters. Cini added that after 18 months she is able to hold a conversation with Chinese friends.

“I know between 800 and 700 – I learned 750 of these from the University, and I learned the others from films and videos, as the subtitles are written below,” Cini added.

Luana Cini says her ambition is to become a teacher of the Chinese language. Before ending the interview, she expressed herself in a Chinese phrase, which means one is not really Chinese unless one visits the Great Wall of China.

Luana leaves for China in a few days for a second visit, after winning a scholarship in the Chinese language.

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