Brazil opens first bilingual high school

Updated: 2015-02-16 04:18

By JI YE in Rio de Janeiro(China Daily Latin America)

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Brazil opens first bilingual high school

Students at the first Portuguese-Chinese bilingual high school in Brazil celebrate its opening on Feb 9. Photo by Liu Long/For China Daily 

Brazil opened its first Portuguese-Chinese bilingual high school with an enrollment of 72 students.

Organized by Rio de Janeiro's education department and China's Hebei Normal University, the school in Niteroi, a city across Guanabara Bay from Ri. welcomed its first class on Feb 9.

Named after Brazil's famous mathematician Joaquim Gomes de Sousa, the school focuses on the teaching of mathematics and combines Portuguese, Chinese and English as its teaching languages.

The school selected the 72 students from hundreds seeking enrollment. Rio's education department recruited 20 local teachers from more than 200 applicants, and Chinese teachers were selected and sent to Brazil by Hebei Normal University.

"This Portuguese-Chinese high school is the 27th in our bilingual school project, and is also representative of cultural exchanges between Brazil and China,'' said Antonio Nunes, director of Rio's education department, at the school's opening ceremony. It is inseparable from the strong support of the Chinese government and education sector. Chinese language has been more than just a cultural symbol. It is of great significance toward the bilateral economic development of Brazil and China."

Qiao Jianzhen, dean of the Pontifical Catholic University Confucius Institute and a promoter of the bilingual high school, said many Brazilians consider Chinese as the most difficult language in the world, but when compared with grammatical aspects of Portuguese, she said ``Chinese is much simpler than you expect.''

She said two Chinese volunteer teachers are at the school, and she expressed her hope that the school will contribute to the development of cultural exchanges between the two countries.

As economic ties between China and Brazil deepen, more Brazilians are becoming interested in Chinese culture and language.

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