Today, China is developing with an unprecedented degree of openness to the world, the world's eyes began to invest more attention to China, and look forward to China, the ancient and the modern state. The language bridge built on the Mandarin Chinese language, in China's splendid and magnificent culture with five thousand years is continuously extending to the front, and has brought more hope for human peace and development.
Mandarin Chinese, the footprint integrated into the world
In the development of globalization, with China's rapid economic development and increasing international exchanges, the application of value of Mandarin Chinese has been increasing. Learning Mandarin Chinese can be said to have grasped the tool for the friendly exchanges with the 1.3 billion people, and have an important key to enter the world with a broad market.
Â According to statistics, now in the world the number of people to learn Mandarin Chinese is more than 30 million, more than 100 countries over 2500 universities are teaching Mandarin Chinese, a growing number of primary and secondary schools to set up Mandarin Chinese courses has become a new trend.
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America's Mandarin Chinese teaching has been one hundred years of history. The original development is relatively slow, as China's economic development and the improvement of Sino-US relations, the pace of development of Mandarin Chinese teaching began to change to be fast. In recent years, the number of schools opened Mandarin Chinese courses is increasing, the age of students studying Mandarin Chinese is earlier, and the Mandarin Chinese teaching methods are improved, by all means the U.S. Mandarin Chinese teaching conditions are constantly changing.
The U.S. government's a rough statistic shows that now in the United States there are about 1600 public and private schools to open Mandarin Chinese lessons, 10 years ago, only 300 schools opened the Mandarin Chinese lessons, the number of schools to set up Mandarin Chinese lessons is rapidly increasing. The statistic also shows that in the United States' 27500 schools to open the foreign language, the proportion of opening Mandarin Chinese courses in schools accounted for 4%. In the past, from 1997 to 2008, the schools of opening Mandarin Chinese courses only accounted for 1% of foreign language schools.
U.S. Mandarin Chinese teaching can be divided into the following main blocks: the mainstream schools, Mandarin Chinese schools, government agencies, business schools and the Confucius Institute.
1. Mainstream schools
Mainstream schools refer to the formal schools, including universities, secondary schools and primary schools. The students to attend Mandarin Chinese in mainstream schools can receive credits. Mandarin Chinese teaching in the United States starts from college, and has been one hundred years of history, the first few decades of the Mandarin Chinese teaching in the United States were conducted mainly in universities. In the last century 80's, Dodge Foundation funded a number of secondary schools to offer Mandarin Chinese courses to promote the United States' secondary schools teaching Mandarin Chinese.
With the emergence of AP Mandarin Chinese, both primary and secondary schools across the United States have started to establish Mandarin Chinese courses, and the primary schools to set up Mandarin Chinese are also increasing. The earlier age to learn a foreign language is the better for the future. Some far-sighted non-Chinese parents in order to improve the child's future competitiveness, let the children start learning Mandarin Chinese, the number of the non-Chinese students to learn Mandarin Chinese should increase every year. The establishment of AP Mandarin Chinese not only led to the U.S. primary and secondary schools teaching Mandarin Chinese, but also will increase the primary and secondary levels in the U.S. Mandarin Chinese teaching.
2. Mandarin Chinese Schools
In addition to mainstream schools, the Mandarin Chinese teaching in the United States Mandarin Chinese schools is also worthy of our attention. Mandarin Chinese Schools refer to the establishment of schools for the children of Chinese descent, and the objects of teaching are usually the students in primary and secondary schools. Mandarin Chinese schools in the United States can be divided into two camps: the establishment of immigrants from China Taiwan, the establishment of immigrants from mainland China. The establishment of immigrants from China Taiwan has a longer school history. Most of their materials are provided by the Government of China Taiwan to teach traditional Chinese characters and phonetic symbols. As the actual needs, there are some schools to teach simplified Chinese characters and pinyin. In the fall of 2008, the United States has about 1000 China Taiwan-based Mandarin Chinese Schools for immigrants, located in 50 U.S. states, and the number of students is about 10 million. In the last 20 years, China's massive influx of Chinese immigrants in the United States, to educate their children also began to establish schools in Mandarin Chinese.
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3. Government agencies
The U.S. government needs a large number of foreign talents, especially the need to learn the language of the "hostile countries". Unfortunately, statistical information in government schools is not easy to collect, and in the end it is not clear how many people in the government established language school to learn Mandarin Chinese. I only know that in the U.S. Defense Language Institute there are nearly 200 Mandarin Chinese teachers. In addition to Defense Language Institute, the U.S. diplomatic agencies, three military officers and intelligence agencies are also opened the Mandarin Chinese courses.
4. Business schools
Due to the market demand, commercial language schools are increasing rapidly. In recent two years, the establishment of a network of private schools appeared in large numbers. Traditional schools need to have classrooms, students and teachers have to work to attend school on a fixed period of time, and the cost to open a traditional language school is very high. The network is relatively low cost required for the schools, students and teachers are in their own homes through the network to class, no space, there is no need to spend time by car to the school. Many networks schools get rid of the traditional and long-term teaching programs, while aimed at the needs of individual students design courses. Students can choose their own convenient time, through the network with the teacher one on one campus. As the learners' age begin earlier, some sites are set up for children. The emergence of these networks schools is a good sign that many American people are willing to learn Mandarin Chinese. However, how the level of these schools and teaching effectiveness is yet to be inspected.
Â 5. Confucius institute
NOCFL in order to promote Chinese language and culture around the world established a number of Confucius Institutes. As of May 2009, the United States has 53 Confucius institutes and 4 Confucius schools. Confucius Institute's mission is to promote Chinese language and culture around the world. The service targets of Confucius Institute are not limited to students in school, but also the general community, for introducing the Chinese language and culture to all social classes. Confucius Institute is the new force in the teaching profession in the United States' Mandarin Chinese, is a new block with great influence.
Australian Mandarin Chinese teaching in primary and secondary schools was founded in 1960, Melbourne, Victoria. South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania in 1978 were in succession during the day schools opening the Mandarin Chinese courses. New South Wales developed late, to the late 80s in the last century; the day schools in Sydney began offering Mandarin Chinese courses. The states have taken the Mandarin Chinese as a subject in college entrance examination.
Mandarin Chinese education in Australia boomed in the early 90's of last century. First, as China's economic take-off, coupled with many domestic intellectuals came to Australia, brought plenty of teachers. In addition, in the mid-nineties the federal government under the "Asian Language Education White Paper" set up "The National Asian Languages and Studies in Australian Schools". The subsidies from the federal subsidies significantly promoted the development of Australia's Mandarin Chinese in primary and secondary education, and played an active role in the contingent of teachers, teaching methods seminars, materials research and development and the promotion. At present, the Mandarin Chinese's teacher, organizational capacity, teaching and research, teaching quality in Australia are walking in the world.
According to the 2008 state association statistics, at present the number of primary and secondary schools to set up Mandarin Chinese in Australia is about 700, and there are nearly 110 thousand people to learn Mandarin Chinese, teaching staff, including full-time and part-time teachers are more than 1200. The number of students in States is in the following table:
The above two tables show: most of the schools to teach Mandarin Chinese in Australia are modest in scale, 40% of schools have less than 200 students by a teacher in charge of the schools teaching in Mandarin Chinese. Teacher not only has to teach each student and has also individually to prepare all the teaching materials, teaching aids, activities, test, study reports, to deal with the relationship between problem students and the parents, some teachers even need to deal with the various administrative activities in the friendly exchanges with China. The workload of teachers is very large, in the teaching environment is also relatively isolated and is not readily available with the other Mandarin Chinese teachers to discuss and solve academic problems; the information obtained is also negative, but not readily with colleagues to share the joy of teaching Mandarin Chinese. This isolation of teaching is very worthy of attention, it should also give them support in all aspects.
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The two countries of Singapore and Malaysia to study Mandarin Chinese have shown unprecedented enthusiasm. One reason is in order to inherit Chinese culture and tradition, and secondly it is for the development in China, the third reason is that the world set off a craze for learning Mandarin Chinese, and the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia do not want to fall behind. The two governments of Singapore and Malaysia support their people to learn Chinese, especially in Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, governance and financing have repeatedly called for their own ethnic Chinese, especially the younger generation to learn the Chinese language. The two non-ethnic Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia, such as the number of the younger generation of the Malay and Indian communities to study Mandarin Chinese is gradually increasing.
In the Singapore and Malaysia, Mandarin Chinese is a compulsory course for ethnic Chinese students, from elementary school until high school. Singapore was started in 1979 to promote the Chinese language and has entered the 27th year. Today, Singaporean Chinese can speak Mandarin, dialects position had been greatly weakened, and even some children have not spoken the dialect. Singapore has four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the common language of people of all nationalities, is the top-level language. The Mandarin Chinese is only the common language for Chinese people. Malaysia will also speak Mandarin Chinese, the country also has the official Chinese-language standardization committee act as the chairperson, vice minister of Ministry of Education.
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In recent years, the person of insight in British Government, education circle and business community started to pay attention to China's development, they strengthen the University of Mandarin Chinese teaching and research in China, believe the need for further work in public primary and secondary schools teaching Mandarin Chinese. However, in primary and secondary education to carry out Mandarin Chinese is not easy, not only a lack of teachers, teaching materials and other resources, and generally the parents and students still think that compared to other popular "modern foreign language" is concerned, Mandarin Chinese is an language extremely difficult to learn. Therefore, the vast majority of elective Mandarin Chinese are still the Chinese children.
At present, the British Government is seeking more Specialist Languages Colleges to open Mandarin Chinese lessons, in order to bring the country to carry out teaching in Mandarin Chinese. British Ministry of Education in 2003 confirmed that, in England and Wales there are about 50 Specialist Languages Colleges in the opening of Mandarin Chinese classes, accounted for about 30% of all the Specialist Languages Colleges. The British Government hoped that in the next few years, to increase the schools in the opening of Mandarin Chinese classes to 200.
According to the statistics in the opening of Mandarin Chinese and the number of students for elective courses from 1999 to 2003 in some universities (Cambridge, Central Lancashire University, Guildhall School of the University of London School of Economics, Oxford University, Westminster University and the University of London, SOAS) show that, in addition to individual schools to learn Mandarin Chinese, the total number of students (including undergraduate and elective subjects, students) almost has no changes in the past few years, a number of other institutions is a significant increase in the number of students to learn Mandarin Chinese from the total number of students 439 people in 1999 to 674 people in 2003, an increase of 54%. There are a number of institutions, such as the University of London King's College, Nottingham University and Imperial College, University of London, in succession from 1999 to 2003 during the opening of Mandarin Chinese courses for students to learn different professional electives. Only the students from these three universities for elective Mandarin Chinese are from empty of people in 1999 to 445 in 2003, and the number is increasing every year. The above statistics include about 1 / 3 of the opening of Mandarin Chinese class institutions, it should be basically reflected the whole changes for British universities to learn Mandarin Chinese in these years.
(2) The history of MFL (modern foreign languageï¼‰teaching and learning in the UK
In recent years, the British Government has always been to improve the level of education and skills of citizens to govern as a priority. One of the important measures to improve the quality of education is to reform the language education system, raise the level of language education, including mother-tongue education and foreign language education. In the late 90s in the 20th century, the British re-enacted "The National Curriculum for England: English" and "The National Curriculum for England: Modern Foreign Languages". In recent years, the British education sector found that the enactment of these curricula has not really change the status of English language education, especially the backwardness of foreign language education.
In order to actively promote foreign language education reform, the United Kingdom Department for Education and Skills in 2002 presented a project entitled the document of "Language Learning", and its purpose is to improve in the next decade the quality of the British National Foreign Language and raise a strategic plan. The paper analyzed the challenges facing the UK, and put forward the goal and overall vision of foreign language education reform. Later, the Department for Education and Skills established a "Languages National Steering Group" by composed of various people (including education experts, linguists, educational administrators, teacher representatives, etc.). Task of this group is according to the strategic planning proposed by "language learning" to study the specific implementation plans. In 2002, the group submitted to the Ministry for Education and Skills in a foreign language of all citizens to enhance the quality of the proposal, namely, "Foreign Language Education Development Strategy". In the documents issued by the Ministry for Education and Skills in the UK, the main use of the term is "language" rather than "foreign language", and sometimes a foreign language or a modern foreign language is also used. This is because from the British point of view, some languages are not necessarily suitable for known foreign language. Such as for the Spanish settle in the UK speaks Spanish, they would consider it is not a foreign language. However, from the main contents of the file, the languages in the paper mainly refer to foreign languages.
2, Development Strategy of Britain's Foreign Language Education
(A) Background Analysis
In the past a long period of time, the majority of British people have such an understanding, since many countries and regions in the world speak English, so the British themselves do not have to learn languages from other countries. Thus, despite the British government and people have argued for other countries and regions to "sell" English, they themselves never attach importance to their foreign language education, but also are not aware of the role of foreign language education in social development and economic development. Concrete manifestation is the fact that most public elementary schools do not offer foreign language courses; A level English students in the choice of secondary school students in the age of 16 have completed the compulsory education stage of learning, qualified performance can be graduated. However, if you want to institutions to continue to learn higher education, you need to continue the studies in secondary schools for two years with elective "advanced level" subjects, referred to as A level courses. The count for students to pass A level courses is an important basis for institutions of higher learning when one of the admissions. When carrying out courses, few people choose foreign language courses, and the pass rate has continued to decline; the students in universities to select foreign languages are few. In 2000-2001 school year, only 3% of the enrolled students chose the Specialized Foreign Language; full-time foreign language teachers are also in very short supply in schools and the trained foreign language teachers are less.
At present, the British Government and people have recognized that the quality of the British people as a whole lags behind other European foreign countries, and also begin to affect economic development. The report from the field of economy and trade in UK showed the international foreign language proficiency to communicate in a business activity accounted for a very small proportion, but few business owners encourage their employees to learn foreign languages. British official statistics showed, 20% of UK companies have been the situation to miss business opportunities due to a lack of foreign language skills of employees, 25% of companies in international business activities, there have been language and cultural issues.
With the increasing globalization of economies and the increasingly diversified of cultures, the British government and people realize that for the citizens of the 21st century, only to master English is far from enough. Strengthening of foreign language education, to improve the quality of foreign language education is an urgent need. Britain's foreign language teaching strategy is proposed in this context.