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China’s Mandarin teaching program in UK schools extended under gov’t language drive

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) — The British Department for Education (DfE) announced Saturday that the Mandarin program in British schools is set to be extended for a further three years from this September.

The Mandarin Excellence Program forms part of a multi-million dollar initiative to encourage thousands of young students in Britain to learn Mandarin, Latin and modern world languages.

“To continue the success of the program and reiterate the importance of learning new languages, the Mandarin program is expected to be extended for a further three years from this September, run by University College London Institute of Education and the British Council,” said a spokesperson for the DfE.

The Mandarin programme now involves 75 schools across the country with more than 6,000 pupils learning Mandarin towards fluency.

Meanwhile, a 5.5-million-U.S. dollar Latin Excellence Program was unveiled to level up opportunities for state secondary school students, as well as helping them with other subjects like English, French, Spanish and even maths.

The spokesperson said the initiative aims to boost the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) Latin entries and will be modelled on the success of the Mandarin Excellence Program, launched in 2016 in response to the growing importance of Mandarin as a global language.

Similarly to the Mandarin program, the Latin Excellence Program will be led by a center of excellence, which will work with up to 40 schools to develop teacher training resources and lesson materials for 11-16 year-olds, according to the DfE. Enditem

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