China launches website on Chinese learning
2006-07-09 00:00 2006-07-08 23:40:30

    BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- China launched a website,, on Saturday to offer learning courses of Mandarin Chinese online to meet the surging demand of Chinese learning around the world.

    Sponsored by China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOCFL), 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 sets 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 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, according to 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 be the world's most important Mandarin learning website and provide comprehensive services for people all over the world who want to learn Mandarin.


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