New Confucius Classroom opens to help more children learn Mandarin

Children said “huanying” (welcome) to guests from the Chinese Embassy in UK who opened a Confucius Classroom at their school.  

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Teachers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Confucius Institute have been running free Mandarin classes at Little Bowden Primary, near Market Harborough, for the past three years. And now the school has opened its own Confucius Classroom which will run classes in Chinese language and culture for the youngsters.

Head teacher Colin Miller said he was extremely proud of the children studying Mandarin as well as learning calligraphy, Tai Chi and fan dancing.

He said: “When I was at primary school, I was the only one who said he would like to go to China. And I have now been, thanks to the CI and I have also done Mandarin at summer school.

“Our class has picked Mandarin up far quicker than I have, they love the language, the culture and the history.”

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Mr Xiaopeng Li, from the education section of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, was the special guest at the opening ceremony.

He said: “We are living in a time when the world is shrinking. It is even more important to be a global citizen, That is why it is vitally important for young people to learn more than the language to learn the culture. 

“We believe by understanding more about our different cultures we will promote a better understanding.”

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Pupils from years 5 and 6 sat the Youth China Test 1, a globally-recognised test of Chinese language proficiency. Poppy Carey, 10, got a perfect score in reading and dropped only one point in her listening exam.

She said: “I really enjoy my lessons. It is exciting to learn a different language and about another country. I would like to visit China.”

* Visit our Confucius Institute at the next DMU Open Day
* Discover more about our free language classes
* Students help celebrate Chinese New Year

DMU’s Confucius Institute (DMU CI) is a celebration of Chinese language and culture for students and the wider community. It is part of the wider #DMUglobal programme which offers international experiences for all students.

Its teachers, Xiaoli Zeng, Qiuyan Qu, Xiaoyu Guo, Jiacan Xu and Feng Xu all teach Mandarin at the school and in sessions run at DMU for the general public, students and staff.

Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017

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