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Scoop | New Zealand Chinese Language Week kicks off today

New Zealand Chinese Language Week

22 Sept 2018

New Zealand Chinese Language Week: 23 – 29 September 2018
New Zealand Chinese Language Week kicks off today – Sunday 23rd September, a Kiwi-led initiative that aims to promote the benefits and opportunities of learning more about Chinese language and culture.
Now in its fourth year, the 2018 Week has a tourism theme ahead of next year’s China NZ Year of Tourism.

This infographic from Tourism New Zealand provides further insight into the profile of potential Chinese visitors and what they are looking for in a visit to New Zealand.

Co-Chair of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Jo Coughlan said: “In the next few years visitors from China are set to overtake Australia as New Zealand’s number one source of tourists – and yet our language skills and cultural understanding are sadly lagging behind. New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a Kiwi-led initiative aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to ‘give Chinese a go’. It’s not as hard as you think!”

According to Ministry of Education statistics, in 2017, 64,874 primary aged students, and 5,820 secondary aged students were learning Chinese. However, this is only 8 per cent of the total number of students in New Zealand and the drop off at secondary school indicates that students are not realising the benefits of learning the language.

Research by Asia New Zealand has found New Zealanders have low levels of knowledge about Asia, assessed through a simple six question general knowledge test.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is supported by leading NZ/Chinese organisations and major business sponsors, many from the tourism sector including:
• New Zealand Maori Tourism
• Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited
• Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban)
• China Southern Airlines
• New Zealand China Council
• Asia New Zealand Foundation
• Auckland International Airport
• Christchurch International Airport
• Tourism Holdings Ltd (Kiwi Experience, Discover Waitomo, Self Drive)
• North Asia Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence
• SkyKiwi

How members of the public and the business community can get involved

• Attend an event. Events open to the public are listed on the New Zealand Chinese Language Week website events page
• Enter the competition to win an all expenses paid trip to Guangzhou sponsored by China Southern Airlines details here
• Take part in the Five Days, Five Phrases Challenge
• Download a new trilingual (English, Te Reo, Mandarin) leaflet created especially for tourism businesses
• Help your child’s language learning with a new children’s storybook in English and Mandarin, William’s Waitangi Day, sponsored by New Zealand Chinese Language Week. William’s Waitangi Day tells the story of a Chinese boy in New Zealand who learns about Waitangi Day, and its significance from his friends. William’s Waitangi Day is a picture book aimed at early readers and will be available for purchase from early October from leading booksellers and online

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