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Denbigh students learn Mandarin

25 February 2011
Denbigh has become one of the few secondary schools in the country where students have the opportunity to learn Mandarin.
Mr Xuan Zhang from Cambridge University comes to Denbigh every Tuesday after school to teach Mandarin to a very keen group of students.
The move to teach Mandarin in UK schools is now on the increase and on 10th November 2010 the Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that the government are pioneering a new partnership with China to train 100 more Mandarin teachers for secondary schools in England.
The announcement came as Mr Gove was in China trying to build stronger educational partnerships. The latest initiative is a joint programme between the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Hanban (the Confucius Institute Headquarters).
The programme is aimed at improving the quality and quantity of Mandarin teaching in schools and to help increase the number of Mandarin speakers so that Britain's workforce is better equipped to compete in a globalised economy.
In 2010 the CBI conducted a survey of businesses in the UK where the employers mentioned that Mandarin and Cantonese are second only to French as a language that they would be looking for in future employees.
As part of the move the government will be unveiling a programme to train 1,000 Mandarin language teachers over the next five years, in partnership with Chinese education authorities which will open up the opportunity to more schools. The five-year programme is due to begin in July 2011.
Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Mrs Beverley Blackham said; It is quite a difficult language to learn but I have been amazed by how well our students have adapted to learning Mandarin. They are also really enjoying it and some have even commented that it is easy!.
Year 10 student Tanvir Islam said: I think that Mandarin is increasingly important, particularly in business. Learning it is a great opportunity to broaden my skills and develop myself for the future.
Year 9 student Joanne Bridgland said: Learning Mandarin is great. It is a very detailed language that has a lot of depth with the characters and tones. Sometimes it gets quite hard but at the end of the session I always feel proud of the achievement and I have certainly learnt a lot already.
On Tuesday 11th January 2011 the Herald and Post came to film one of our
Mandarin lessons for a video which is featured on their website.
You can view the video at this address: