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Confucius Institute in Thailand helps train teachers to meet growing demand for learning Mandarin

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-12 15:31

Chinese language has become more and more popular in Thailand due to the increase of Chinese tourists and China's development, which drives a Confucius Institute in Bangkok to voluntarily help train local teachers to meet the growing demand for learning Mandarin here.

On a hot Saturday afternoon recently, Mandarin teachers around Bangkok came to the Confucius Institute at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University (BSRU) to take their weekly three-hour course of Mandarin and Chinese culture, taught by teachers of the institute.

"Our teachers voluntarily use their spare time to train local teachers here every week," said Wen Xiangyu, Chinese dean of the Confucius Institute, which was established in 2006.

In Chinese teacher Song Chunzhi's class, some 20 Thai teachers were learning Chinese expressions and making new sentences under Song's instruction.

"I have been taking the course for three years, it helped me a lot," said Nantawat Radsamee, a Mandarin teacher in a primary school called Wat Ladplakao after the class.

The Confucius Institute also went to Nantawat's school and held a cultural event there to celebrate the Chinese lunar Year of the Rooster in February, which attracted many pupils to join.

Prasat Seri, an fine arts teacher, has been attending the course for several years. He even drew pictures to teach Chinese characters and made a picture book, which was later promoted by Bangkok's Department of Education as a standard textbook to teach Mandarin in all primary schools of the city.

Prasat expressed gratitude to the teachers of the Confucius Institute in helping him check and edit the picture book.

"I love the course, especially the cultural part as there are always something new every week," he said.

Besides Song's class, there were other three classes ongoing every Saturday as the Confucius Institute has put local teachers in different classes according to a language test at the beginning of every semester.

According to Wen, the Chinese dean, the Confucius Institute at the BSRU has cooperated with Bangkok's Department of Education in this training course for at least five years.

Around 1 million Thais are learning Mandarin right now, which means a lot of Mandarin teachers are needed, said Wang Wei, a teacher at the Confucius Institute.

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