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8 Measures to Boost Overseas Chinese Teaching

China has taken eight measures to boost overseas Chinese teaching and will focus on four of these aspects this year, said Vice Education Minister Zhang Xinsheng said Wednesday.

Zhang, also deputy director of the State Leading Group for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, said that China encouraged its people to learn a foreign language on the on hand, and promote the popularization of Chinese culture and language worldwide on the other hand.

Last year, Zhang said, the State Council approved the "Chinese Bridge Project," which covered eight aspects of work to boost overseas Chinese teaching.

First of all, China will speed up the process of building the "Confucius Institute" abroad, which serves as a base for Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange by giving non-degree courses.

Secondly, China will further develop multi-media and audio-visual teaching materials such as "Chengo Chinese" and "Great Wall Chinese." So far, the "Chengo Chinese" based on Internet teaching has been used by 15,000 middle school students in the United States.

Thirdly, the Advanced Placement (AP) Chinese Program, which are now being taught at high schools of the United States, will be launched in 2,500 American universities in 2006, Zhang said.

Fourthly, programs such as "Volunteer Program for International Chinese Teachers" and "Measures for Certifying Teachers' Ability to Teach Chinese as a Foreign Language" will help train the teaching staff.

Also, the test question database of the Chinese Proficiency Test (know as HSK) will be enlarged and new tests will be developed.

China will help overseas universities to build Chinese language libraries and donate Chinese books to primary and secondary schools giving Chinese courses. The competition on Chinese proficiency for foreign college students will be further increased.     

This year, China will establish the standard and the assessment mechanism of "Confucius Institute" and work out the teachers' training programs for both domestic and overseas Chinese teaching in upcoming five years.

(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2005)

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