30/03/2011 11:15 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

UK Children To Learn Mandarin At School

If you like to help your kids with their homework, you'd better start brushing up your Mandarin. Because soon it will be Chinese lessons schoolchildren are learning, according to new plans announced today by David Cameron.

A language programme is being implemented to teach Mandarin – the official language of China – to children in all state schools in the UK.

The Prime Minister is unveiling a programme to train 1,000 Mandarin language teachers over the next five years, in an agreement with Chinese education authorities.

The measures are part of efforts to forge closer commercial ties with China. Ministers believe it will provide sufficient Mandarin teachers to ensure that every secondary school student in England who wants to learn the language can do so.

The teachers will be trained through short courses at UK universities and a special summer training course at Beijing University.

The announcement has been finalised as Education Secretary Michael Gove led a small education delegation in Beijing as part of the Prime Minister's visit to China.

In return for assistance with the Mandarin teacher-training scheme, Britain will help the Chinese government to train headteachers.

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