Become a member

Language Magazine is a monthly print and online publication that provides cutting-edge information for language learners, educators, and professionals around the world.

― Advertisement ―

― Advertisement ―

Make a Plan for Oracy

Schools are placing a greater emphasis on...
HomenewsWorldEnthusiasm for Chinese Grows in Liberia

Enthusiasm for Chinese Grows in Liberia

Chinese language and cultural studies will be offered as an undergraduate degree course for the first time at the University of Liberia and other colleges in the West African country, which came to being in the early 19th century as a project of the American Colonization Society on the basis that Black people would face better prospects in Africa than in the US. Before the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born Black people emigrated from the US to Liberia.

Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence in 1847 and English is the official language, but over 20 indigenous languages are spoken across the country.

The Confucius Institute at the state-owned University of Liberia, the first in West Africa, has been offering certificate and diploma courses in Chinese language and cultural studies since 2008, but not as an undergraduate major.

Speaking at a Chinese language proficiency competition in the capital Monrovia, Julius Sarwolo Nelson, president of the university, said it takes pride in being the “backbone” of Chinese language education in Liberia and West Africa, adding that its Confucius Institute has enrolled over 21,000 students in its certificate and diploma programs.

“This partnership with the Confucius Institute goes beyond our borders. And we are encouraging everyone, especially Liberians, to learn the Chinese language,” said Nelson, adding that learning Chinese is very important for better cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.

Chinese ambassador to Liberia Ren Yisheng said peace and benevolence are traditional values that are deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people, and that is why the Chinese language is a key that opens the door to understanding these values, such as the Confucian teaching of “harmony without uniformity.”

“Language is a bond that connects people together through time and space. In recent years, enthusiasm for learning the Chinese language has been growing worldwide, and more and more Liberian friends are joining the ranks of Chinese learners,” said Ren.
Liberia’s Confucius Institute held its 21st Chinese Bridge Chinese proficiency competition for foreign college students last month, with Clarence S. Johnson emerging as the winner to represent Liberia at the global final in China.

The theme of the 21st Chinese Bridge competition is “One world, one family: Building a bridge of friendship between China and Liberia.”
The ambassador remarked that in recent years, President Xi Jinping has proposed the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, together with the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative. He pointed out that these visions help to foster a new type of security and coexistence with common development that replaces confrontation.

As the world undergoes profound changes and multipolarity, economic globalization, and cultural diversity gain momentum, Ambassador Ren said he believes that only if the world is seen as one family can a community be built with “a shared future for mankind, and a more secure and brighter future can be created for the world.”

Language Magazine
Send this to a friend