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Professor Mobo Gao (email)
Professor of Chinese Studies
Director, Confucius Institute
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8303 5803
Mobile: 0404 178 417
Mr David Ellis (email)
Media and Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 421 612 762
Monday, 16 March 2009
The University of Adelaide's Confucius Institute will play a key role in Chinese language and cultural studies in South Australian Government schools, thanks to a new agreement between the University and the State Government.
Under the agreement, the Confucius Institute will provide input into the development and implementation of quality Chinese language and cultural studies programs for teachers, principals and school communities throughout the State.
The main focus for the Institute will be on assisting the Department of Education and Children's Services to further develop the language proficiency, cultural awareness and understanding, and language teaching methods of Chinese language teachers.
The Institute will provide a range of support to foster the study of Chinese in South Australian Government schools, including input on resources that teachers can use with students in the classroom.
The agreement has been signed by the Minister for Education and Children's Services, the Hon. Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, and the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, Professor James McWha.
"There is already a very good working relationship between the Confucius Institute and the Department of Education and Children's Services. This formal agreement will enable us to work even more effectively together to promote learning and understanding of Chinese language and culture in schools," Professor McWha said.
The Confucius Institute, established at the University of Adelaide in 2007, aims to increase the understanding of Chinese language and culture, and help build and strengthen economic and business links with China.
Chinese (Mandarin) is one of nine key non-indigenous languages offered in South Australia's public education system, with more than 5900 students learning Chinese language and culture across 50 government schools.
Students learning Chinese can already benefit from language and cultural programs offered by the University of Adelaide's Confucius Institute, such as calligraphy, and school visits by visiting educators from China.
"Last year the Confucius Institute organised a highly successful principals' delegation to China, and we will be organising a similar one this year," said the Director of the Confucius Institute, Professor Mobo Gao.
"We have been organising Chinese cultural programs in schools, starting with our artist-in-residence program, and this year we will be running an art competition for school students.
"There will also be a national high school Chinese speaking competition this year, and we sponsor the Chinese Language Teachers Association of South Australia prizes for students," he said.