EYE ON CHINA– A Growing Love for Chinese

作者:佚名  文章来源:  点击数:1609  更新时间:2010-01-20


In a half filled classroom at the Ateneo de Manila University a group of students are nearing the end of a specialized course in Chinese for business. The university has been teaching the language in the Philippines for 20 years but only recently have the classrooms started to fill. Chinese teacher Sidney Bata explains,

"When I came into this University in 1998 we had very few students but then it started to peak in 2001. For summer class we have around 50 in a class. This is one of our fewer ones because this is among the top classes. This is Chinese six so students would be fewer."

It is estimated that around 40 million people outside China have taken up learning Chinese and the figure is expected to reach 100 million by 2010, leading to a high demand in teachers.

To deal with this increased need for Chinese specialists and to promote Chinese culture throughout the Philippines, the Confucius Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Beijing, has partnered with Ateneo de Manila University to set up a new centre from which teachers can be trained and new courses offered. Director Dr Ellen Palanca, explains the need,

"The Institute was established in 2006 and since then we have had cycles of classes and since we started the number of students has reached more than 3,000. Aside from teaching language directly to students we also train teachers. We have two major programmes on this one is a summer seminal workshop for teachers all over the country the other one is for Chinese teachers in Chinese schools and we do this is Cebu city."

Back in the classroom the students are perfecting their tones and learning new characters. This group are not Chinese majors but rather come from many different departments in the University. With the pressures of study already high I asked them why they thought it worthwhile to take extra classes in Chinese,

"I believe that Chinese is the future language especially now China is developing, it will be useful especially in business."

"We need it for communicating because there are so many Chinese people around the world and also for business since the mode of communication right now, like with my family, is talking to Chinese businessmen so I think it is very important to study Mandarin."

Video: D J Clark & Xu Shu Min
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