Spanish students learning Chinese to be welcomed in labor market: experts

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Spanish students who learn Chinese language will be competitive in their future jobs, thanks to increasing economic and cultural exchanges between Spain and China, experts said on Friday.

“There are socio-economic balance factors that change at great speed,” Montserrat Graneras, senior official with Spain’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, said at a seminar called “Chinese in the Spanish educational system”.

“All Spanish educational leaders have a moral obligation to act effectively and flexibly to ensure that these students have the best possible tools to compete in the labor market,” Graneras said.

Latest data showed that more than 40,000 people are learning Chinese in Spain and more than 8,000 take the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) exam. The figures place Spain in the first place among the member states of the European Union (EU).

The Spanish government has advocated for implementing Chinese language in school curriculum in a “progressive” but “non-stop” way.

“Chinese is a very useful language in modern society to strengthen economic and cultural exchanges between Spain and China. Students who learn it can be more competitive in the future,” Zhong Xiwei, with the Chinese Embassy in Spain, told Xinhua.

Regarding Chinese teaching in Spain, experts highlighted the work of regions such as Andalusia (south of the country), which began this task in 2011.

“We started then with an eminently experimental number and now, in 2018, we have almost 3,900 students learning Chinese both in primary education (6-12 years) and in secondary education (12-16 years),” said general director of Educational Planning of the Junta de Andalucia, Abelardo De la Rosa.

Castilla y Leon, located in the center-north of the country, is another region that has been teaching Chinese as a subject of free choice in two secondary-schools.

“Everything has an international dimension that we want to implement in the young people of our community,” said Jose Alberto Hernandez Ganan, head of the Teacher Training Service of the Junta de Castilla y Leon.

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