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Launch of Taiwan's Mandarin Language Assistant Scheme in schools in SW England

Launch of Taiwan's Mandarin Language Assistant Scheme in schools in SW England
The Broadening Horizons Scheme, which will bring qualified Mandarin teachers from Taiwan to the south west of England to teach Mandarin Chinese in schools will have its official launch on 13th September 2007 between 17:00 and 18:30 in the European Parliament in London. The launch and reception will be hosted by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK and Graham Watson MEP.

The teaching of Chinese in the UK has traditionally been the preserve of private schools, colleges or universities. The Broadening Horizons Scheme will introduce Mandarin lessons into five comprehensive schools, which Graham Watson hopes will "sow the seeds for Chinese teaching". The schools, Hayle Community School, Cornwall; Huish Episcopi School, Somerset; Pilton Community College, Devon; The Sir Bernard Lovell School, nr. Bristol; and The Sir John Colfox School in Bridport, are all specialist language colleges with an international outlook.

The project will not only give pupils of these schools a valuable opportunity to study this increasingly-important global language, but is also aimed at improving cross-cultural understanding for both pupils and teachers. The Taiwanese assistants, who will be staying with English families, will gain a "unique snapshot into life in rural England". They will also be encouraged to use lesson time to introduce pupils to the unique and vibrant culture of Taiwan in areas as diverse as cooking, history, geography, art or dance.

The first scheme of its kind, it is envisaged that this pilot project will be expanded throughout the UK to bring the benefits of Mandarin learning and cultural exchange to a greater number of British pupils.

For more information please contact the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK on 020-7436-5888 or on email address

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