[EDLING:1619] Chinese teachers needed for foreign students

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Wed May 24 01:06:44 UTC 2006

China View


Chinese teachers needed for foreign students

BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Education warned Monday that 
there are now less than one percent of the five million professional Chinese-
as-a-second-language teachers that are expected to be needed over the next 
five years. 

    The number of foreigners learning Chinese around the world is expected to 
hit 100 million in 2010, according to the ministry's National Office for 
Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. 

    At a ratio of one teacher for every 20 students, five million teachers 
will be required, far exceeding the 40,000 working now working around the 
world, the office estimated. 

    Zhang Xinsheng, vice education minister, said that despite the worldwide 
shortfall, China has plenty of Chinese teachers. 

    About 10,000 students majoring in Chinese graduate each year, and 1,500 
more professionals graduate as teachers of Chinese as a foreign language from 
33 universities and colleges in China, according to Zhang. 

    Ongoing plans include short-term training programs for teachers and 
volunteers sent abroad, and training of teachers in other countries, which 
will bring the number of Chinese language teachers to more than 100,000 as of 

    Over the last five years Chinese language training has seen a sharp rise, 
reflecting the country's rising position in Asia and the world. 

    Nearly 40 million foreigners now learn Chinese language in some 12,400 
schools or universities. 

    Statistics from a report on language use, issued on Monday by the 
Ministry, show that 6,000 teachers of foreigners are working full or part-time 
in China, but only half are qualified. 

    They are responsible for teaching 110,000 foreign students learning 
Chinese in China. Enditem
 Editor: Luan Shanglin  

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