Chinese

Why learn Chinese?

With over 900 million native speakers, Mandarin Chinese is by far the most widely spoken mother tongue in the world. In total, over 1.1 billion people speak Chinese, which is an official language in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Myanmar. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Key language for economy

One of fastest growing economies in world, China has become a driver of world economic growth and has become a vital market for every major global company.

China was the second largest economy in the world in 2017 according to the IMF and many economists expect it to eclipse that of the United States within a decade.

Trade between Ireland-china trade totally around 8 billion euros in 2011, according to Irish economic development agency Enterprise Ireland. China is set to become Ireland’s fourth largest trading partner by 2030, according to a HSBC Bank report.

 

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Language in high demand

  • Chinese is considered difficult to learn due to the complex writing system, which claims to be the oldest continuously used system of writing in world. But the grammar is relatively simple and it is possible to learn to speak Chinese without learning the script. Due to the difficulty of learning Chinese, native English speakers who master the language are in high demand by employers.
  • The number of Chinese traveling abroad each year is forecast to exceed 200 million travellers by the end of the decade, after doubling in five years, according to the state tourism agency.

Cultural richness

China was one of the richest and advanced societies in the world for most of its history and has one of the world’s richest architectural, artistic and literary heritages.It has the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites after Italy.

China is known for some of the most sophisticated cuisines in the world, offering visitors an explosion of tastes from Cantonese Bao buns to spicy Sichuan stir fries and roasted Peking duck.

Short Courses in Chinese Language

A short course in Chinese language and culture is available as part of the Framework for Junior Cycle.

This short course in Chinese Language and Culture offers students an introduction to the language and culture of China. It provides students with a learning base in Mandarin Chinese which they can subsequently build on in their studies. They also learn about China and they understand and experience many aspects of Chinese culture which are essential to communicate effectively in Chinese. Students develop their communication skills, their ability to interact successfully with Chinese people and those from other cultures, and their capacity to be effective language learners. The focus is on understanding and speaking basic Chinese in everyday situations through active engagement in activities and through using digital media. The level of personal proficiency to be achieved in the short course is broadly aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) A1.1 for speaking and listening, with a lower level for reading and writing. Students learn to become more self-directed in their learning and to identify what helps them achieve their goals. Their progress is supported and accelerated by drawing on their experience of learning other languages. This short course is designed to build confidence and competence through enjoyment and a sense of achievement in learning to speak and write Chinese.

Specification for Junior Cycle Short Course – click here.

 

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Working with
languages

Watch and listen to some of the career stories

 

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Did you
know?

Only 6.5%
of the world’s population are native English speakers