Tuesday 25 October 2016

Irish students to start getting lessons in Chinese

Ian Begley

Published 01/10/2016 | 12:15

A Chinese yuan currency sign
A Chinese yuan currency sign

Students from the West of Ireland will be getting to grips with the world’s most spoken language in a ground breaking new programme.

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Children from Gaelscoil Pheig Sayers, Cork will see Mandarin Chinese being taught formally to senior students.

A second Gaelscoil in Cork is also expected to be included in the new programme within a few weeks.

Aimed at fifth and sixth- class pupils, this new initiative is the first formal Chinese language pilot programme of its kind in any primary school across the country.

The school’s board of management approached University College Cork (UCC) to see if they would devise a Chinese language programme for them.

Following talks, a course was agreed which is aimed at teaching the language over a course of two years by up to 12 Chinese students, currently studying for their Masters degree in UCC.

The Gaelscoil students will be taught how to write in Manderian along with how to speak a language used by over one billion people.

They will each receive certificates at the end of the course.

Mandarin Chinese grammar is understood to be relatively simple, with its tenses expressed by using time phrases like ‘yesterday, tomorrow and in the future’.

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