MANDARIN PROGRAMS FOR DUT STUDENTS AND STAFF
By: Thalente Ncube
Confucius Institute, a Chinese based educational institution in association with the Durban University of Technology has reached a milestone of providing the Chinese language, Mandarin, to the university.
Mandarin was presented in March 2013 after Chinese President XI Jinping and President Jacob Zuma had visited the institution.
“Mandarin is offered in our institution. This is a great platform for our emerging students who still want to travel the world, now that China is one of the biggest economies in the world,” said DUT’s Vice Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa.
According to Prof Bawa, Mandarin will be a second additional language but optional, it does not form part of the eleven official languages.
This joint initiative between the two institutions will also promote cultural diversity, educational and academic exchanges.
“About 200 students from DUT have travelled to china to learn there which emphasises our binder to strengthen our relations which China,” added Bawa.
Mandarin programs that are offered include Elementary Mandarin, Intermediate and Advanced Mandarin.
All levels include both learning of Chinese language and cultural learning, aiming at equipping all attendees’ with Chinese culture and evolution.
According to one of the DUT Mandarin student Wandile Hadebe, there is something special about learning Mandarin compared to many other foreign languages.
“Fundamentally it has meaning and a number of possible sounds than in English, there are a less relatively limited number of sounds that need to be learned,” said Hadebe.
Mandarin has been added to the curriculum as a subject choice for pupils in grades four to nine as a non-official language.
Other language choices in the same category include German, Serbian, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu Mandarin will be started at a selected number of schools from January 2016.