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A New Semester, A New Journey: The Mandarin Teaching Work of Confucius Institute at UCT Enters A New Cycle

8 Aug 2016 - 15:00

On 18 July, 2016, all public schools in Cape Town started the new term, which also means the Mandarin teaching work of the Confucius Institute (CI) at UCT enters a new cycle. Along with the arrival of four new volunteer teachers, the CI at UCT now has two experienced teachers, who will take charge of the Mandarin classes in the School of Languages and Literatures, and five volunteer teachers, who are responsible for various primary schools and high schools.

The CI at UCT teaches at numerous places of learning, including: Groote Schuur High School, St Joseph College, Claremont High School, Golden Grove Primary School, Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School, Micklefield School, Hillcrest Primary School and Pinelands North Primary School. The students range from Grade 1 to Grade 11, and each class has 15 students on average. Particularly noteworthy is the Groote Schuur High School, which has enrolled Mandarin into its formal curriculum and is applying for the establishment of a Confucius classroom on school premises.

In addition, with the help of new teachers and ample teaching materials, the CI at UCT runs several training courses to meet the needs of people in different fields, such as Basic Chinese for social workers, Practical Chinese for staff at UCT and Business Chinese for the company HiSense.

The schools starting a Mandarin class this semester are Bramble Way Primary School, and Simon's Town School, which is near to the home of the South African Navy. According to the principal of Simon's Town School, they decided to open a Mandarin class because it has almost become a ‘universal language’. She hopes her students will be well prepared for the globalizing world and for traveling all over the world, not just China. What’s more, there is a maritime section in the school and the students may go to work on shipping vessels. And so, because China has the largest commercial fleet in the world, if the students have a good command of Mandarin they will be qualified to get a job in the Chinese shipping market. In the long term, the principal also hopes to add Mandarin to her school’s curriculum as a second additional language.

In the photo, Teacher Wu was teaching students how to use Chinese chopsticks.