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LN: Czech schools move ahead with Chinese language

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Prague, Aug 24 (CTK) – More and more Czech schools offer Chinese studies since this language, used by 1.2 billion native speakers, is very promising in view of the development of business between the West and China, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes Monday.

China is the fourth most significant business partner of the Czech Republic that exports mainly machines and transport means to this country. In 1993, Czech-Chinese bilateral trade was ten billion crowns, while in 2013 it amounted to 341 billion, LN writes.

Optional Chinese language courses are offered at some Czech secondary schools, such as the network of the PORG elite private grammar schools and the First Slavic Grammar Schools in Olomouc, north Moravia, as well as universities and colleges.

Olomouc is also the seat of the Confucius Institute that is part of the Palacky University. Since 2007 it has provided a certified education of the Chinese language both for university students and scholars and the public under the aegis of the Beijing University of Foreign Studies. It is also the only school in the Czech Republic to organise the international exams in Chinese, LN writes.

“Apart from language courses, the institute secures the training of Chinese teachers and the popularisation of Chinese culture, for instance, the screening of Chinese films and calligraphy workshops,” institute director Lucie Lanikova told LN.

The Prague branch of the Confucius Institute was opened last year, LN adds.

Students of the University of Economics (VSE) in Prague can also learn Chinese.

“The interest has been stably high in the past few years,” VSE spokeswoman Julie Dankova said.

The university offers not only purely language courses, but also Chinese studies, the students of which can get acquainted with the Chinese economy. People with experience from China give lectures in these courses, LN says.

About 25 students enroll in them and some 100 students attend the Chinese language courses each semester at the VSE.

Since the 2008/2009 academic year, Chinese has also been taught at the only firm’s higher education facility in the country – the Skoda Auto University in Mlada Boleslav, central Bohemia, LN writes.

The Skoda car maker has some plants in China and it sends its students of Chinese to stints there. The graduates have found jobs in the Volkswagen Group concern, whose part Skoda is, and elsewhere, often in managerial posts, LN adds.

Sinology is a traditional branch at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague. Its students can choose BA, MA or Ph.D studies. Since 2000, about ten post-graduate students have achieved doctor’s s degree in sinology, LN writes.

The best graduates continue in their academic career at the university, work in diplomacy or as translators and interpreters or teach the Chinese language.

Apart from Prague, sinology is offered at the Olomouc university.

However, the current students are more pragmatic and they often choose Chinese studies to focus on trade with China in the future, Martin Lavicka, secretary of the Palacky University, told LN, adding that all graduates in the field have found jobs.

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