With Mandarin growing in popularity, teachers explain how schools can make the most out of teaching the language.

“Why is learning Mandarin beneficial to children? Where do I start,” asks Liqun Dai, the head of Chinese at Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull.

“The Chinese language is unique. It is a tonal language, and in terms of cognitive development, it enhances students' maths and music ability, and problem-solving skills.

“China is the second-largest economy in the world, and four out of five businesses have job opportunities created by foreign trade. Learning Mandarin will definitely give students a head start in their future careers, and an edge in the job market.”

 Archbishop Sentamu Academy is one of hundreds of schools across the country now teaching Mandarin alongside other modern foreign languages, and uptake is increasing. In August 2018, the number of students choosing Mandarin at A level overtook those taking German for the first time, and since 2016 more than 6,000 students have enrolled on the Mandarin Excellence Programme, funded by the Department for Education. There’s no doubt about it: schools, parents and the government are switched on to the value of learning Mandarin. 

 

This article first appeared on the TES website and is sponsored by The British Council.  To read the article in full, you can do so here.

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