Chinese Teachers to Teach Mandarin in U.K.

Nine local teachers will head for Britain this afternoon to spend a year teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture to secondary school students in England. The nine instructors make up the first ever group of Chinese teachers sponsored by the U.K. government to work in Britain.

"In addition to teaching the language, I will try as much as I can to showcase Chinese culture to the British, whose understanding of us is relatively limited," said Ni Minxue from Shanghai High School.

The group's trip is the first part of a three-year-cooperation agreement between the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and the Culture and Education Sector of the British Consulate-General.

"Chinese has become the fastest growing language in Britain, as a series of international events are to be held in China. Meanwhile, the country's culture such as Chinese cooking and calligraphy is more and more appealing to the younger British generation," said Richard Everitt, England's Education Consul in Shanghai.

The British consulate chose the nine teachers from over 100 applicants after a series of language tests and interviews. Seven of the lucky instructors teach English in Shanghai, while the other two teach Chinese.

The program will increase in size over the next two years, with over 75 local teachers getting the opportunity to work in Britain, said Everitt, adding that Britain will spend 300,000 pounds (US$435,990) on the program.

"I am excited about the chance to experience London-accented English as that is what was taught to me as a student," said Zhu Xueyan from Cao Yang No. 2 High School. Zhu says she only hears American English in Shanghai these days.

( 08/31/2001)

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China, Britain Exchange Teachers



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