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28 November 2011
Schools across Wales have met with language experts to discuss the development of Chinese studies at all levels of Welsh education.
Welsh schools were invited to Conwy for 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 third Wales-China Schools Forum was organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute, in partnership with Lampeter Confucius Institute. The discussions built on issues raised in earlier forum meetings in Cardiff and Carmarthen which involved representatives of Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government, British Council Wales and Cilt Cymru.
Scott Andrews, General Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute, based at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: "China is set to be the largest economy in the world within the next 10-15 years and mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. A better grasp of the language and of Chinese culture will enable future generations in Wales to be more equipped to forge links and to partner with China.
"This North Wales meeting of the Wales China Schools forum has attracted even more schools than previous meetings. 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."
The Wales China Schools Forum seeks 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 two Confucius Institutes aim to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture across Wales. Last year the project was able to support the provision of more than 100 Chinese courses to schools from across Wales.
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