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More UAE residents are learning Chinese; here’s why – News


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Published: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 6:08 p.m.

Last update: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 6:10 p.m.

With China’s growing influence on the global landscape, being able to speak Chinese is considered an advantage. Learning Chinese is not only becoming fashionable but also opening up more opportunities for UAE residents.

“There are an increasing number of youth and adults attending Chinese language programs to remain competitive in their school, career or facilitate interactions with Chinese companies,” said Qi Ye, managing director of the Dubai-based Nihao Institute. .

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Iraqi expatriate Aysn is one of them. She has been learning Chinese for five years and is proud of her rapid mastery of the language. She is now eager to visit China and see in person the places she learned about in textbooks.

“People were impressed and complimented me when I spoke Chinese, which boosted my confidence and made me more motivated to learn Chinese culture,” he said. Khaleej Times.

There is also a push to deepen the mutual relationship and cultural exchange between the UAE and China. In 2019, the Ministry of Education launched the Chinese Learning Program in public schools, and it has been well received by students and parents.

This year, as the UAE and China celebrate their 40th anniversary of bilateral relationship, a total of 64,778 students have enrolled in the Chinese Language Program in 170 schools.

Emiratis learn Chinese

In addition to schools, there are several learning institutes that offer Chinese language training programs.

Great Wall Language Institute offers Chinese classes to both foreign Chinese students and non-native Chinese students who are interested in the courses.

According to Xiaojun Yin, founder and director of the institute, of the 400 students, there are around 200 non-Chinese students, and 20 percent of them are Emiratis.

Initially, students were enrolled by their parents due to prior connections to China, either through work or business interactions. But now, the learning trend is not just limited to students but also working professionals looking to advance their career.

Great Wall Language Institutes, for example, offers Chinese language training courses for Chinese companies and real estate agencies in the United Arab Emirates. Courses cover basic communications, cultures, etiquette and taboos in business interactions.

It’s not easy to master

Ye of the Nihao Institute, however, noted: “Chinese is not an easy language to master. According to my observations, students in the UAE find learning Chinese challenging but at the same time useful. But they were inspired and willing to put in the time and effort to learn Chinese.

“As China plays a more prominent role on the global stage, they realize the benefits of learning Chinese,” Ye said.

“Parents want their children to not only master the language, but also be able to understand Chinese culture and way of thinking, to remain competitive in the future.”

Shan Jin, part of the first group of Chinese teachers in Dubai, said more than 200 Emirati students take weekly Chinese classes.

“In the past, the community’s perception of China was limited to news or ‘Made in China’ products. Teaching Chinese allows us to forge a personal bond and attachment to the culture, as we not only teach the language, but also embrace Chinese culture and traditions. “We act as messengers that unite cultures,” Jin said.

Where to learn Chinese

The Chinese School Dubai offers Chinese classes on Saturdays from elementary to advanced levels.

Nihao Institute offers after-school or weekend Chinese courses for students of different levels, and Chinese training programs in international schools.

The Nihao Institute works with organizations and local governments to offer specific training courses for adults.

Great Wall Language Institute offers Chinese classes at different levels. They also organize several summer/winter camps with the aim of improving speaking, reading and writing while learning Chinese culture and arts.

Meanwhile, the Confucius Institute at the University of Dubai offers four levels of Chinese language courses for two semesters a year.

For oral practice, Xiaojun Yin asked students to involve Chinese in their daily life, such as watching Chinese movies and shows or learning Chinese songs. They can watch videos that are easier for them to understand during the learning process.


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