China is stepping up efforts of training more Chinese language teachers for foreigners because of an increasing popularity of Chinese language, said sources with the office of Chinese Language Council International Monday.
"Each year, there are 10,000 vacancies of teaching Chinese as a foreign language across the world, but only 2,000 teachers are available," said Xu Lin, director of the office. "The greatest challenge we are facing now is to meet the surging demand of Chinese teachers."
This year, quite a number of regular college graduates, no matter what they major in, will be recruited to attend a one-year training course for teaching Chinese as a foreign language, according to Xu.
Over 5,000 people have been certificated as Chinese teachers for foreigners by now and some of them will be selected to learn Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic for a year and then sent to teach in Latin American and Arab countries.
The office also plans to set up another 60 Confucius Institutes and launch "Confucius Institute on line" and "Confucius Institute over broadcast" this year, aiming at covering more overseas Chinese learners.
Last year, China sent 1,004 Chinese teachers to 80 countries and 1,050 volunteers to 34 countries teaching the Chinese language.
(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2007)