The number of Chinese language classes in Luxembourg state-run schools will increase this autumn. Photo: Bridget Coila (CC BY-SA 2.0)
State-run Luxembourg high schools will offer more Mandarin Chinese language classes this autumn.
Some schools have been offering Chinese as an extracurricular course for a few years, but for the first time, students attending the Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg will now have the chance to take Mandarin Chinese as an integrated course after 7e grade (the first year of secondary school).
A knowledge of the Chinese language could be a professional asset for Luxembourg students, given the growing economic, commercial and financial ties with China and Asia in general, the education ministry said in a press release on 1 June. Chinese is the second most used language on the internet today, after English, and is connected to a culture well over 4,000 years old. Learning Chinese is essential to understanding Chinese culture as well as discovering other Asian cultures and mentalities.
The Lycée Aline Mayrisch has been offering Chinese for 10 years now and was the first school in Luxembourg to do so; however, it was offered as an extracurricular activity and only as an option starting in the 3e grade (the fourth year of secondary school). To date, around 290 LAML students, as well as students coming from other schools, have taken advantage of the courses.
The Athénée has also been offering a weekly Chinese class for its students as an extracurricular activity since 2010, but at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, they will offer the language as an integrated course option.
The Chinese courses offered by the Athénée will function the same way as the Latin courses they offer. At the end of 7e grade, students will be able to choose between a classical education, the “Latin” way, or a “modern” track, which will now have two options: the current English path or the newly introduced Chinese option.
In both the Latin path and the Chinese path, students will also study English from 5e grade (the third year of secondary school) to 3e (the fifth year) and be able to choose between continuing Latin or Chinese or just taking English in the 2e grade (sixth year of secondary school) and 1e (seventh and final year of secondary school). These options are only available to students attending the Athénée.
In the future, these courses will be in collaboration with the Confucius Institute, which will soon be established in the Grand Duchy. An agreement between the University of Luxembourg and Fudan University of Shanghai will be signed for the opening of the institute. Each year, Fudan University will then assign one or two visiting instructors to provide teaching materials and welcome students on study tours to China.
Any high school student in the country interested in taking Chinese can go to the LAML and take a level 1 introductory course or a refresher level 2 course on Thursday afternoons or Saturday mornings. Every year, a test at the LAML determines the best students from around Luxembourg who will take part in the international competition for Chinese high school students.
Additionally, Lycée Ermesinde, Lycée de Garçons Esch, Lycée de Garçons Luxembourg and Lycée Michel-Rodange all offer their own Chinese options as well.
To register for the Athénée course, contact directeur [at] al.lu; to register at the Lycée Aline Mayrisch, contact director [at] laml.lu.