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Embracing Chinese Language Week makes business sense

Stuff – ANUJA NADKARNI

“Learning the language is the first step for businesses that want to become China-ready, businesswoman Jo Coughlan says. China is New Zealand’s second-largest trading partner, its biggest market for export goods, a fast-growing service market and an increasingly major source of foreign investment. Coughlan heads New Zealand Chinese Language Week. During the week, it will run a social media campaign teaching five Mandarin phrases through social videos. Coughlan is also director of agribusiness Silvereye and said, as a business owner, she recognised the opportunities, challenges and complexities of the Chinese market.”(more)

Surge in number of students learning Chinese Mandarin

Stuff – Ruby McAndrew

“Each week, Li Ling Ho organises more than 20 Mandarin language classes and story time sessions, many of which are full to the brim with toddlers and schoolchildren learning the world’s most spoken language. Ho founded Ni Hao Children’s Community, a charitable organisation in Wellington, just over two years ago as a way to teach Chinese Mandarin in a fun way. With the number of participants on the up, it appears to have struck a chord. “So far, even just as a start up, people are really interested and keep asking us to start classes in different suburbs,” Ho said.”(more)

Chinese children crush Americans in math thanks to a mindset Americans only display in one place: sports

Business Insider – Libby Kane

“For the most part, American children aren’t great at math. But Chinese children tend to be excellent. Testing half a million students worldwide, the Program for International Student Assessment is one of the most widely cited measurements of global education, and it’s consistently found Chinese students at the top of the academic pile … and Americans much nearer the bottom. Some experts argue that the PISA assessment, like any standardized tests, primarily measures a student’s ability to take the test, not their knowledge, but hardly anyone disputes that the American education has some work to do when it comes to math.”(more)

The 1 Language That CEOs Must Learn to Get Ahead

INC – Melanie Curtin

“If you’re looking to expand your linguistic horizons while simultaneously setting yourself up for professional success, there’s one language that vastly outpaces the rest in terms of its utility. As Emily Oster, associate professor of economics at Brown University, says, “Mandarin would be the best choice.” “This is the native language for 14 percent of the world’s population,” she explains, “and most of those people do not speak English, so it’s all a win.” It’s definitely a win, considering over one billion people speak it worldwide already, and China is slated to become the number one economic power on the planet by 2020.”(more)

Learning Chinese now more appealing to youngsters worldwide

The GB Times – Chi Dehua

“This summer, 145 representatives from 112 countries arrived in China to participate in the annual Chinese language competition: the Chinese Bridge. They were selected from regional contests based on their proficiency in the language and insight into the country’s culture. In addition to enjoying the needle of competition, contestants were given the opportunity to tour the country’s renowned scenic spots and visit tech companies during their one-month stay. The overall winners were also offered full scholarships by the Confucius Institute’s headquarters so that they could return to China and further their studies. The large-scale event echoed the ‘Chinese fever’ phenomenon currently sweeping the globe. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the number of foreigners learning Chinese has grown from 30 million in 2005 to 100 million currently, with more than 60 countries now offering Chinese as part of their national education system.”(more)

China Focus: Deciphering the Shanghai math myths

Xinhua – You Zhixin, Zheng Kaijun, and Wu Zhendong

“The English version of a popular set of Shanghai math books debuted at the Shanghai Book Fair and attracted a great number of interested Chinese readers. Chinese publishers and scholars are inspired by the introduction of Shanghai math books to the UK and they are bringing back the fruit of such exchanges back to Shanghai. While in Britain, pupils may need to sharpen their pencils in preparation to do math “the Shanghai way.”(more)