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Building Chinese into schools’ curriculum

04 April 2011

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Schools across Wales met with language experts to discuss the development of Chinese studies at all levels of Welsh education.

The second pan-Wales Schools forum was organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute, in partnership with Lampeter Confucius Institute. Welsh schools and organisations were invited to a two-day round table discussion with language experts, modern foreign language advisors, Chinese tutors, validating authorities and language practitioners to explore the future of Chinese Studies.

The discussions built on issues raised in last year’s first forum which involved representatives of Cardiff Council, the Welsh Assembly, and Cilt Cymru, who joined teachers, head-teachers, modern foreign language advisors and examination/validation authorities. Both forums sought to work alongside all schools in Wales currently engaging in activities with China and to raise aspirations for other schools that would like to see Chinese studies integrated into their programmes in the future.

The forums are part of the Confucius Institutes for Wales China Schools Project. The Cardiff Confucius Institutes aim to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture across Wales.

Scott Andrews, Project Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute based at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: "This second meeting of the Wales China Schools forum has attracted even more schools than last year. The forum has demonstrated the increasing interest in the development of Chinese language opportunities as a genuine alternative to other modern foreign languages in both primary and secondary schools across Wales."

Helen Potts, School Governor of Llanfair Primary School benefited from the second forum, held at University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen. She said: "It was a really good event that provided a really helpful understanding of all the opportunities available to build Mandarin/Chinese Culture learning units into the curriculum."