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Chinese language gains popularity in Serbian high schools

Chinese investments in Serbia have influenced more and more Serbian school children to take interest in learning Chinese language, said Wednesday Vesna Fila assistant to Minister of Education and Science, to Tanjug news agency.

According to her words, Russian investments in Serbia such as South Stream Pipeline, are having the same effect to earlier less popular Russian language.

“Pilot project of learning Chinese in our high schools, introduced in 2012, will be extended to 2013, and evaluation of this initiative is under way, with help of Belgrade Confucius Institute and Beijing Hanban,” said Fila, reminding that at present some 2,500 pupils in 35 Serbian high schools learn Chinese language.

Chinese language is among other high schools learned in elite education institutions such as Belgrade Philology Gymnasium, Sremski Karlovci Gymnasium, and Ninth Belgrade Gymnasium, said Fila, adding that Serbian children are showing excellent results in international competitions in Chinese language.

However, most of them are still interested in English, and some 90 percent start to learn it in first grade. Second foreign language is introduced from the fifth grade and it is mostly: French, Russian, German, dependant of the region and arrival of foreign investments.

In Kragujevac, fourth largest Serbian town in central part of the country, Italian language is learned by some 3,000 to 4,000 pupils, after arrival of Italian Fiat, and in Sothern town of Pirot after arrival of French Michelin in local schools bilingual French/Serbian teachings are introduced, according to curriculums of the Serbian Ministry of Education.

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