With constant elevation of China's position in the world, foreigners' desire to study Chinese language, to know China and promote exchange with China has grown stronger and stronger.
The "Chinese language fever" has kept growing globally. There are 30 million foreigners who study the Chinese language in the world. About 2,300 universities in more than 100 countries around the world offer Chinese language courses. The Chinese language has entered classroom in primary and high schools in the US, the UK, Japan and ROK. A total of 370,000 foreigners have taken the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) in these years, sources from the symposium "Teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the new era" say.
Hailed as the second largest language by experts, the Chinese language has witnessed the fastest growth in learners. The China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language has carried out a five-year "Chinese language bridge program", which aims to promote the Chinese language in the world. Confucius Colleges will be established around the world to promote teaching of the Chinese language in major regions. China now has 330 universities that offer Chinese teaching for foreigners. Courses of Chinese language and culture have been provided in more than 500 high schools in the US. China and the US are working together on a "network language teaching program" and "the Great Wall Chinese language" teaching mode. Next year the world Chinese Language Conference will be held in Beijing.
The three-day symposium "Teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the new era" is held by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and cosponsored by the Harvard University, Columbia University, the Nankai University and Beijing Language and Culture University.
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2004)