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Learning online adds to appeal of Chinese

By LI YINGXUE | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-15 09:16

Students put on a kung fu performance to mark Chinese Language Day on April 20 at the Confucius Institute at the University of Zambia in the country's capital Lusaka. [Photo/Xinhua]

Sixteen-year-old Peyton Fu-Sarosa, who lives in the United States, attends an online Chinese class every week. With her teacher from Shanghai on screen, she reads books and practices conversations.

She's also part of a Chinese club at school. In April, she visited Taiwan with classmates studying Chinese. She noticed a big improvement in her Chinese skills during the trip, and often helped translate for her friends.

Fu-Sarosa comes from an Indonesian Chinese family. She lived in China from 3 to 7 before moving to the US. Three years ago, she started learning Chinese again, and found that it was fun.

Every day, she spends about five minutes practicing on language-learning platform Duolingo, which she's been doing for over 300 days.

"I know Chinese will be really useful. My grandma and other family members speak it, so I hope to chat with them in Chinese," she says.

There is a surge in global demand for learning Chinese, particularly evident in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. At the same time, online platforms have emerged as a favored avenue for acquiring linguistic proficiency.

A plethora of online education platforms have emerged, offering apps tailored to learning Chinese. The apps cater to different aspects of language acquisition, including the use of pinyin, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, mainly in English. Examples include Wukong, Du Chinese, Learn Chinese, and Chineasy: Learn Chinese Easily.

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