Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Osborne, C., Xia, Y. & Zhang, Q.
IRAAL 2017
Applied Linguistics in the Era of Globalization: Opportunities, Challenges, Practices
Limerick University, Ireland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
China’s booming economy is indeed one of the main reasons for the popularity of learning Chinese as a foreign language. With this growing interest in Chinese language, Ireland is likely to be behind global trends as Chinese is not yet included as a State-examined subject at any level in the Irish schooling system. However, Ireland closely follows the UK in terms of introducing Chinese language teaching (henceforth CLT) into schools. It was during 2004-2005 that CLT started to be introduced into formal schooling in the UK (Zhang & Li 2010), whereas the earliest occurrence of CLT seen in the Irish education system was in 2006 when two Confucius Institutes were set up in Ireland. During this time, Mandarin Chinese was also introduced first as a subject and later as a degree in the higher education institutions in Ireland. The current study first outlines the Chinese immigration trends to examine the context of introducing Mandarin Chinese to Ireland. It then investigates the roles that Confucius Institutes play in promoting CLT in Ireland. Survey data collected in 2013-2017 were analysed to show the development of CLT in Ireland. In-depth analyses were conducted in relation to the Chinese courses offered in six state universities, followed by the planning and implementation of short courses in Chinese language and culture. After a discussion of the present status of CLT in Ireland, the study sheds light on the future of CLT inside and beyond the state.