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France names first Chinese language inspector
2006-03-02 00:29:03 Xinhua English
PARIS, March 1(Xinhuanet)-- France on Wednesday named Joel Bel Lassen its first general inspector to oversee the teaching and learning of the Chinese language in French middle schools nationwide.

France Educational Minister Gilles de Robien told reporters that the nomination testifies the importance of the teaching of the Chinese language in the French educational system, and bears remarkable significance for the future French-Chinese ties.

The close Sino-French cooperation, the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the increase of foreign firms in China require more and more people to learn the Chinese language and the Chinese culture, he said.

According to the French Education Ministry, there are about 12,000 French people learning Chinese. Chinese is now only the fifth biggest foreign language in French schools, but the number of Chinese learners is increasing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent each year.

The Chinese language is being taught in 194 middle schools and 12 elementary schools in France.

French Minister for the Promotion of Equal Opportunity Azouz Begag, who was present at the nomination ceremony, told reporters that learning Chinese would broaden the vision of the French youth.

The official predicted that in ten years, French citizens who speak the Chinese language will have a big advantage over others in job hunting. He said his two daughters are also learning Chinese. Enditem

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