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Chinese teaching Broadens Horizons at Huish Episcopi School

September 15, 2008 12:15 PM

There may be some strange sounds coming out of the classrooms at Huish Episcopi today as the school welcomes to its teaching staff Hsu-Ling Chung, who comes from Taiwan under the 'Broadening Horizons' scheme for Mandarin-teaching, devised by local MEP Graham Watson.

From Bournemouth, where the Liberal Democrat Conference convenes this week, South West and Gibraltar MEP Graham Watson said:

"I set-up the 'Broadening Horizons' scheme in 2006 because very few schools in the region offered chinese lessons. This scheme offers students a chinese taster, without a big financial burden for the school.

I am delighted that Huish has signed up for a second year of 'Broadening Horizons'; with the increasing role China is playing in business and world affairs, pupils at the school will be better equipped for the world of work."

Graham Roff, Headteacher at Huish Episcopi School said:

"Here at Huish we are all delighted to welcome Hsu-Ling Chung as our new Taiwanese Assistant. She will be working with our students to introduce them to further aspects of Mandarin Chinese language and culture. This will build upon the foundations laid last school year. We strongly believe that in a world in which improving communications are effectively shrinking distances, the growing importance of Taiwan and China means that these studies are very important to our students."

The 'Broadening Horizons' scheme works by providing enthusiastic trained Mandarin teaching assistants to work with pupils for up to ten-hours per week in return for food, accommodation and basic administration costs. Hsu-Ling Chung will stay at Huish Episcopi until July 2009 working with pupils of all ages, staff and, if demand is such, with the wider community too.

Graham Watson MEP is organising at Conference to take place at the University of Exeter on the importance of world languages, with guest speaker Leonard Orban (EU Commissioner for Languages). This takes place on Friday 17th October from 9:30 to 12 noon and is free to attend. Further details are available via www.grahamwatsonmep.org .


Chinese is the world's number one language, with roughly 1.3 billion speakers worldwide.

UK trade with China, which was last year worth an estimated £20.2bn, is predicted to grow by 50% by 2010.

The participating schools involved in the 'Broadening Horizons' scheme 2008-2009 are: Hayle Community School (Cornwall), Penrice Community College (Cornwall), Pilton Community College (Devon), The Sir John Colfox (Dorset), Kingsmead Community School (Somerset), Huish Episcopi School (Somerset) and The Sir Bernard Lovell School (Oldham Common, Bristol),The John Bentley School (Wiltshire) and The Cotswold School (Gloucestershire).