By 2010 it's likely 100 million foreigners will be learning Chinese according to a forecast by the
Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign
"The Chinese language is gaining increasing popularity
throughout the world and there's a big shortage of qualified
teachers," said Xu Lin, of the National Office. Xu explained the
government was making every effort to train more professionals to
teach Chinese as a foreign language.
This year Beijing Normal University recruited 47 students for a
Master's Degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language and the
country will train upwards of 300 such students over the next four
The government has launched a national exam for Teaching Chinese
as a Foreign Language (TCFL) certificate. "Teachers who obtain a
TCFL certificate will have opportunities to teach Chinese in a
foreign country," explained Xu. More than 4,000 people are
currently studying for these certificates.
Those seeking to qualify to teach Chinese as a foreign language
require a good grasp of their own language including phonetics,
vocabulary and grammar as well as English and Chinese culture.
As the number of overseas people expressing an interest in
learning the language grows it's been estimated that at least 4
million Chinese language teachers will be needed worldwide by
(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2006)