Traditional Chinese being recognised in Leaving Cert Mandarin Chinese exam in Ireland

Traditional Chinese being recognised in Leaving Cert Mandarin Chinese exam in Ireland

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LCMC Concern Group Ireland started this petition to Norma Foley (Minister for Education) and

The first Mandarin Chinese examination will start in summer 2022, but the Education Minister Norma Foley told the Chinese communities in Ireland that the curriculum is designed only for 'Irish' or 'international students with no previous knowledge of the language', thus, the use of traditional Chinese is considered wrong in the examinations.*

This decision to mark Traditional Chinese characters in the Mandarin Chinese examination in Ireland as incorrect is not just a discrimination against the heritage Chinese learners** in Ireland, it also limits the choices for the curious Chinese learners.

Irish government claimed that they are building a diverse society for all, yet, our education system fails to prove it.

Moreover, what Norma Foley, the NCCA and the SEC stated that Traditional Chinese is for more advanced learners shows that they do not have sufficient knowledge on the language.  

In written Chinese, there are two scripts: Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Traditional Chinese is the written language in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Simplified Chinese is primarily used in mainland China since 1950s, it's also being used in Malaysia and Singapore.

The main difference between the two is that there are fewer strokes in the Simplified Chinese characters.

Let us illustrate below: 

Sentence: Ireland is a pretty place.
Simplified:  爱尔兰是一个漂亮的地方。
Traditional: 愛爾蘭是一個漂亮的地方。

Traditional Chinese characters do have more strokes, but it does not mean it is more difficult to learn.

Based on the existing research data, it is concluded that the Traditional Chinese characters are easier for children to learn to read because more strokes means more information in a character. On the other hand, Simplified Chinese are easier to learn to write.

These differences do not make Traditional Chinese a higher level of Chinese that needs another set of curriculum or assessment policy.

Does the English subject have two different curricular of American English and British English?

NO. And both American English and British English are marked correct in Ireland. 

Our government should welcome both forms of Chinese scripts in Ireland and make options available for people to choose from.

An important note here is that including Traditional Chinese in the Leaving Certificate Mandarin Chinese examinations DOES NOT COST MORE ! The subject is already set up and the teachers of Chinese are professional enough to read and mark both forms of Chinese. 

Indeed, in the UK, the USA and Canada, the Mandarin Chinese subject in the university entrance examinations offers option of both Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Why can't Ireland do the same?

Our Demands

  • Both Simplified and Traditional Chinese be printed on the same Mandarin Chinese examination paper (it takes only a click on the computer to convert the characters) ;
  • Both forms of Chinese be accepted as correct answer. 
     



*Norma Foley’s parliamentary written reply: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-07-08/226/

 

**heritage language learner: a student who is raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken, speaks or at least understands the target language, and is to some degree bilingual in that language and in English. (Valdés, 2000)

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If you are interested to support the cause and learn more about the development of Chinese language in Ireland, please feel free to join us Leaving Cert Mandarin Chinese Concern Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lcmccon

https://twitter.com/ChineseIreland

THANK YOU for signing the petition!

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!