Thursday, May 17, 2012
This article begins with an introduction to a school called Hauts-Grillets in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (west of Paris), an international school with English/German/Polish/etc. sections and where a Chinese section has just opened. Nothing notable there so moving on...
Indeed, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, one can begin learning Chinese in elementary school. As indicated by French education ministers, the teaching of Chinese in France has grown rapidly in recent years. It has become a "national phenomenon", rather than being restricted to a few schools in some cities. To promote the development of Chinese teaching, the minister has also appointed an inspector general of Chinese.
According to him (Joël Bellassen), in this year in France the number of students learning Chinese in high school reached 29 605...in the 1990s there were only about a hundred students taking the HSK in France. In 2010 the number surpassed 1000, and in 2011 it reached 2200.
In addition, French Chinese education experts emphasized that "the study of Chinese is not just beneficial to the economy. Chinese uses figurative/pictoral writing. Learning this language helps in training one's memory and deductive capacity."