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Cymraeg

All-Wales conference on Chinese in schools’ curriculum

04 April 2011

Schools across Wales have met with language experts to discuss the development of Chinese studies at all levels of Welsh education.

The second pan-Wales Schools forum was organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute, in partnership with Lampeter Confucius Institute. Welsh schools and organisations were invited to University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen for a two-day round table discussion with language experts, modern foreign language advisors, Chinese tutors, validating authorities and language practitioners to explore the future of Chinese Studies.

The discussions built on issues raised in last year’s first forum which involved representatives of Cardiff Council, the Welsh Assembly Government, and Cilt Cymru, who joined teachers, head-teachers, modern foreign language advisors and examination/validation authorities. Both forums sought to work alongside all schools in Wales currently engaging in activities with China and to raise aspirations for other schools that would like to see Chinese studies integrated into their programmes in the future.

The forums are part of the Confucius Institutes for Wales China Schools Project. The two Confucius Institutes aim to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture across Wales.

Scott Andrews, Project Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute based at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: "China is set to be the largest economy in the world within the next 10-15 years and mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. A better grasp of the language and of Chinese culture will enable future generations in Wales to be more equipped to forge links and to partner with China.

"This second meeting of the Wales China Schools forum has attracted even more schools than last year. The forum has demonstrated the increasing interest in the development of Chinese language opportunities as a genuine alternative to other modern foreign languages in both primary and secondary schools across Wales.

Helen Potts, School Governor of Llanfair Primary School benefited from the second forum. She said: "It was a really good event that provided a really helpful understanding of all the opportunities available to build Mandarin/Chinese Culture learning units into the curriculum."

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Wales China Schools Project
The Wales China Schools Project is a partnership between Cardiff Confucius Institute and Lampeter Confucius Institute, part-funded by the Chinese Authorities in collaboration with the Welsh Assembly Government, the British Council Wales and the National Centre for Languages (CILT Cymru), to deliver Mandarin Chinese and Chinese Culture to secondary and primary schools across Wales. Regular updates on the activities of the Wales China Schools Project can be found on the website: www.WalesChinaSchoolsProject.net. For more information, please contact Scott Andrews, Project Manager on 029 2087 6053 or email andrewss2@cardiff.ac.uk.

2. Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales. The Centre provides around 400 Lifelong Learning Courses a year. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides short courses for business, public sector employers and the individual. The Centre also provides business language training at all levels, including translation services and interpreters.

3. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

For further information contact:
Jayne McGill
Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 2087 6342
Email: mcgillj3@cardiff.ac.uk

Stephen Rouse,
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University.
029 2087 5596
e-mail: RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk