Kensington Wade, the first dual language English-Chinese prep school in Europe, recently opened in London. Epitomizing “Chinese fever” among people around the world, it indicates their bullish bet on China’s future development.
The school aroused wide media attention after enrollment of its first 15 pupils from Europe, the US and South America. Pupils will spend half their time in an English classroom and the other half in a Chinese classroom.
The school’s opening also reveals the eager desire of people worldwide to learn more about Chinese language.
This conclusion has also been confirmed by a recent questionnaire of more than 1,000 parents by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The survey found that Chinese is deemed the most useful and desirable language by parents for their children to study.
The Chinese fever is sweeping the world: The number of primary and secondary school students learning Chinese in the US doubled from 2009 to 2015, “explosive growth” according to statistics released by the US-based nonprofit organization American Councils for International Education.
That number quadrupled in France in the last decade, according to French media, adding that Chinese has become another “second language” during elementary and secondary education like Spanish, German and Italian.
Chinese is also listed as a subject in the secondary school Abitur final examination of many federal states in Germany.
In South Africa, Mauritius, Tanzania, Cameroon and Zambia have included Chinese in their national education system since 2016.
Statistics show that the number of people learning Chinese worldwide has surged from 30 to 100 million since 2004.
Chinese fever indicates the bullish bet of people around the world on China’s future development. People believe that speaking Chinese will help them achieve a higher personal value and create more opportunities for future development.
Based on a survey of 291 British firms, the Confederation of British Industry, a UK business organization, found that Chinese has become the most popular language for British employers excluding European languages.
Martin Stuart Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world’s biggest advertising agency, said recently that Chinese and (computer) code are the two languages he cares most about.
Chinese fever also demonstrates the world’s longing for in-depth learning about Chinese civilization.
American Sinologist Richard Sears, spent $300,000 of his personal savings researching Chinese characters and established a website about the origin of the characters.
With China’s rising international influence, stories told in Chinese will be understood by more and more people around the world.
By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily/NewsGhana.com.gh