** Dr.Logic [Sweat Box & Soap] WP 2000 3.1 **

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

** Dr.Logic [Sweat Box & Soap] WP 2000 3.1 **

** Dr.Logic [Sweat Box & Soap] WP 2000 3.1 ** An independent school has become the first in the UK to make Mandarin Chinese compulsory for pupils, reflecting the growing importance of China on the world stage. But it's not an easy language to master.
China used to be called a sleeping giant. Now, as the world's fastest growing major economy, it is well and truly awake.
British exports to the country are expected to quadruple by the end of the decade and the government wants every school, college and university to be twinned with an equivalent in China within the next five years.
An estimated 100 schools in the UK are now teaching Mandarin, China's official language, according to the British Council - the UK's international organisation for educational and cultural relations.
Brighton College, an independent school in East Sussex, this week became the first to make the language compulsory, alongside French, Spanish and Latin.

GCSE entries for the Chinese languages of Mandarin and Cantonese crept up to just under 4,000 last year. Even with its falling popularity, however, the number of entries in French still hit 320,000.
Ann Martin, a Mandarin teacher at the Ashcombe School in Dorking Surrey, believes part of the problem is the exam system, which isn't designed for non native speakers and is hard for them to gain good grades compared to native speakers.
"As far as schools are concerned head teachers are reluctant to timetable Chinese because it is not achievable for non-native speakers," she says.
Business experts are in no doubt about how important Mandarin will become over the next few years.
BBC business reporter Mary Hennock says students speaking fluent English and Chinese are going to be the executives of the future.
"China's economy is growing so quickly and becoming so influential in the world economy that people can't afford to ignore it. People who want to be ahead in whatever industry need to think about China and learning Chinese."


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