How to Promote the Chinese Language in Schools and Colleges of Pakistan? BY MUHAMMAD ABDUL MATEEN HASHMI 马丁


Chinese is one of theunique languages of the world which has many dialects and almost 300 unique characters which makes it one of the oldest languages of the world. As during the 20th century, the concept of contemporary was introduced, now with the advent of 21st century, we can see oldest civilizations reviving, where China takes the lead, which makes the demand for learning its language even more than it was expected to rise. Mandarin is one of the most spoken dialects and has made inroads in the academic sector of Pakistan rapidly. Previously Pakistan was proud to have English as its official language where the educational institutions had placed greater emphasis on improving the written and spoken English of its pupil, but now a change in trend and priorities can be observed. Parents, Teachers, Students and especially the Business Community of Pakistan is more inclined towards learning Mandarin so that they can keep up with the changing language demands of the region and world in the future. It is projected that by 2050, Mandarin will replace English, making the Chinese language the future language of the world.

Keeping the high demand of the language in mind, there is no doubt that we can see a tremendous amount of inquiries being made by the Pakistanis who wish to now broaden their linguistic capabilities by learning Mandarin. Pakistan has become a language learning center as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) became operational. However, it is pertinent to mention the fact that since the Pakistanis want to learn the language to achieve a certain objective, therefore, the course designing is one of the critical aspects. First of all, we can see multiple schools which are now offering the Chinese language as anoptional or compulsory course. The successful completion, of course, depends upon the way; the curriculum has been designed. It is next to impossible to teach all the aspects of the language in merely 3 to 6 months course, but to achieve the desired results, the Chinese proficiency test must be kept as the end goal to reach. The various sections of the proficiency tests make the division of curriculum easy and achievable while the learners gain an accurate understanding of the coursework.

Further to it, there are many institutions which have hired the natives to teach the language, this may be an attractive way for the schools and colleges to promote and diverse their faculty, but due to the language barrier it sometimes leads to communication gap if the tutor is not proficient in English or Urdu and same rule applies to the students. Therefore, for introducing Mandarin to the early years, it is highly suggested to hire a local tutor who has gained a grip over the foreign language and has complete command in the local language as well.

Learning language is easy for some while others struggle becoming multi-linguistic. The easiest way to introduce the Chinese language in schools and colleges is by using pictorial learning method which has proven to be more efficient that writing.  Spoken exercises with fellows also help in gaining oral proficiency while written tests should not be ruled out as it is the final method to evaluate a student’s command.

As the influence of Mandarin cannot be denied in Pakistan, it is suggested to introduce Spelling Bee tests in Mandarin for the students to encourage their enrollment in learning this language as it is the future of communication. If we want the country to progress in the upcoming years, then it is essential to divert our sole focus from English to Mandarin.