From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


Online Mandarin courses launched

CHINA launched a Website,, on Saturday to offer online
Mandarin courses to meet a surging demand for Chinese around the world.

Sponsored by China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign
Language, the Website aims to offer online learning, training,
volunteer help, search services and various learning resources.

“The Website features multimedia technologies including online
interactive courses, virtual communities, blogs and pod casts,” said
Zheng Zhongxiu who is in charge of the Website.

If users log onto the Website, they enter a virtual community set in a
traditional Beijing residential courtyard where registered users can
communicate with each other and learn Chinese through the specially
designed games.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show more than 30 million
people worldwide are learning Chinese and more than 2,500 universities
in 100 countries and regions offer Chinese courses.

“With an increasing number of foreigners studying Chinese in their own
country, traditional classroom instructions alone cannot cope with the
huge demand,” China’s Education Minister Zhou Ji said at the Confucius
Institute Conference which concluded on Friday.

“This requires modern information technology and multimedia online
instructions to be used more extensively to meet the learning demand,”
he said.

The Website also links to scores of overseas Confucius institutes which
specialize in promoting Chinese learning and Chinese culture, Zheng

“The Website is currently available in Chinese and English, but our
staff are working on the Korean and Japanese versions,” Zheng said,
adding that they will develop more varied versions to facilitate users
with different backgrounds.

Xu Jialu, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National
People’s Congress, said the Website is an important platform for
learning Mandarin and showcasing Chinese culture.

He said it should build itself to become the world’s most important
Mandarin learning Website.