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For the love of the language

( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-02-06 08:19:06

For the love of the language

Zhang Xiaozhen and her students at the closing ceremony of the first Chinese Summer Camp at the Confucius Institute of UDSM. Provided to China Daily

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It is said that Confucius, the great teacher had over 3,000 students in China, a remarkable achievement for those days. Hundreds of years later, the ancient sage is still proving to be the main inspiration for a Chinese teacher to teach Chinese language courses to over 3,000 students in Cameroon and Tanzania.

The 10 teaching centers affiliated to the Confucius Institute at the University of Yaounde II in Cameroon, offer courses ranging from elementary Chinese to language lessons for business purposes. Most of the students are from universities, though it is not uncommon to see middle and primary school students too at the center.

The center follows the "One Institute, Multiple Teaching Centers" model, pioneered by Zhang Xiaozhen, the former director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Yaounde II.

Zhang was recently recognized as one of the "People of the Year" for her efforts in dissemination of Chinese culture at "2013 Brilliance of China" event. Head of the Buddha's Light International Association Hsing Yun and renowned film star Jackie Chan were among the other recipients of the honor.

"I am happy to receive the honor on behalf of the over 10,000 teachers and volunteers teaching Chinese overseas." Zhang says. "Many of them are working just as diligently as I am."

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