Mandarin Chinese a class apart

THERE are 850 million people in the world who speak Mandarin, and that number is to be swelled by 63 in a Co Cork town, thanks to an innovative outreach project by UCC.

All transition year students at St Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom, are undertaking a 12-week course in Chinese language and culture. St Mary’s is one of the first schools in the country to offer such a course, being run by the Chinese Department in UCC, which is eager to expose second level students to learning the language.

Mary Murphy, one of the transition year coordinators, said the novel course would broaden the students’ education and prepare them for a world which might unfortunately see them having to emigrate to a country which is now an economic superpower.

Zhang Ling of the Chinese Department in UCC is delivering this course which the students are lapping up.

Kay Goold, aged 16, said they had already had three lessons in Chinese characters which form the basics of the language.


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