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Mastering Mandarin

23 December 2011

Mandarin webStaff from Lansdowne Primary School and Cardiff University with pupils (left to right) Jack Evans, Naseha Haque, Madihah Ahmed, George Beare & Tayah James

A group of Cardiff school children from Lansdowne Primary School in Cardiff have become the first people in Wales to sit the Young Chinese Learner Test Level I (YCT)

The children from Lansdowne Primary School sat the test this autumn after it was introduced into classrooms across Wales by the Cardiff Confucius Institute, which is based at the University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning.

The YCT test is an international standardised Chinese proficiency test and assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using Mandarin in their daily lives. Cardiff Confucius Institute is offering all levels of the test, on regular occasions throughout the year along with the HSK tests for adult learners.

Jack Evans was among the first group to sit the YCT test achieving a 100% result. He said: "When I started learning Chinese in year 5 I found it hard at first. It’s a very unique language and I enjoyed learning about China. It took a lot of hard work but it was all worth it." He is hoping to continue to learn Chinese as he progresses to secondary school.

Madihah Ahmed, another participant, also observed:"I thought that learning Chinese would help me in the future when I start to look for a job. It has been a good experience and I was very happy to learn the language."

Cardiff Confucius Institute runs Chinese sessions in primary and secondary schools across Wales as part of the Wales China Schools Project. Another successful Cardiff-based school in this project is Cathays High School which has recently been awarded Confucius Classroom status. Lansdowne Primary School is also hoping to achieve this status in 2012. Richard Edwards the Head-teacher at Lansdowne commented:

"This has been a superb opportunity for all the children involved with the successful completion of this test. Learning Chinese at Lansdowne has been an amazing experience for everyone involved and they have gained a valuable, externally accredited qualification".

Scott Andrews is the general manager of the Wales China Schools project, based at Cardiff Confucius Institute. He 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. That is why we ran over 100 Chinese courses in schools across Wales last year and this figure looks set to rise over the next 12 months"

Related Links

Cardiff Confucius Institute