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Ireland to offer Mandarin Chinese as final exam subject, following Italy [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-9-29 10:42:40 |Display all floors

(CGTN) Mandarin Chinese and other foreign languages, including Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese, are to be offered as subjects of Ireland's Leaving Certificate Examinations, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.

The Leaving Certificate Examinations, commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert, is the final examination in the Irish middle school system.

Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton said the move will help students prepare for the economic threat posed by Brexit and the increasing global importance of the non-Western countries.

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Post time 2017-9-29 10:43:13 |Display all floors

A 10-year strategy, to be launched in the next few weeks by Bruton, will include ambitious targets to increase the number of students studying foreign languages.

Under the strategy, all junior middle school students will study a foreign language by 2021.

There is no fixed timeline for the rollout of the new Leaving Cert languages, but it could be achieved over the next five years.

Back in March, Chinese had been added to the graduation exam list by an Italian high school and 29 students will take the test this year, Guangming Daily reported, quoting Italian media.

Sophie Scholl, a high school specializing in linguistics in Trento, northeastern Italy, has become the first school in the country to list Chinese as a graduation exam subject.

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Post time 2017-9-29 10:43:48 |Display all floors

The Chinese course has been running at the Italian school for five years, and 145 of its 910 students have chosen to study the language.

Maria Silva Boccardi, director of the school, said Chinese will become a global language in the future and they set up the course because many students had asked for it.

"There were only a few schools (in Italy) who provided trial Chinese courses back then, but now, Chinese courses have become a crucial part of our overall teaching plan and we are welcoming our pioneer batch of graduates this year," she said.

Statistics show that there are now about 150 schools providing Chinese courses in Italy, according to Guangming Daily.

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