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Mandarin seen as most beneficial non-European language by UK parents

11/01/2017 Joanna

UK parents are keen to see their children learn Mandarin Chinese due to the usefulness of the language, according to a new study.

The Populus survey was commissioned as part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme and questioned more than 1,000 UK adults with children under the age of 18. It was shown that Mandarin was viewed by parents as one of the most important languages for young Britons, with 35 per cent of those surveyed ranking it among the top three most valuable languages for their children's futures.

When asked specifically about Mandarin, 51 per cent of parents said they thought learning the language would boost their children's career prospects, while 56 per cent thought it would open their children's minds to an exciting and dynamic culture. Meanwhile, 51 per cent said they would like their children to have the opportunity to study Mandarin, with 27 per cent saying they would actively encourage their children to learn the language.

Overall, Mandarin was ranked as the most important non-European language for young people in the UK to speak, well ahead of both Arabic and Japanese.

Mark Herbert, head of schools programmes at the British Council, said: "Mandarin Chinese is one of the languages that matter most to the UK's future prosperity.

"If the UK is to remain competitive on the world stage, we need far more of our young people leaving school with a good grasp of Mandarin in order to successfully work abroad or for businesses here in the UK."

The Mandarin Excellence Programme is the first language learning initiative of its kind in the UK and, since being launched by the Department for Education in September 2016, has seen hundreds of secondary school pupils in England start intensive Mandarin lessons.

It is hoped that at least 5,000 young people in England will be on track to achieve a high level of fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020 through this programme.

Recent Comments
Spot on. UK parents still prioritize certain European languages, but after that Chinese language is now more important than Arabic or Japanese in their eyes. Full support from TutorMandarin for this article and any students hoping to learn this great language.
TutorMandarin, 12 January 2017
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