A woman teaching Chinese in an Iranian language school

Iran Adds Chinese To List Of Language Allowed To Be Taught At Schools

Sunday, 07/09/2023

President Ebrahim Raisi has endorsed a law that adds Chinese to the list of foreign languages that can be taught in Iranian middle and high schools.

IRNA state news agency reported Saturday that this is in line with the so-called "fundamental transformation of education based on Islamic-Iranian identity".

It was three years ago and during Hassan Rouhani's administration that the issue of teaching Chinese in Iranian schools was seriously raised.

English and Arabic are two mandatory foreign languages taught in Iranian schools with French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Chinese allowed as additional languages based on choices made by schools and students.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had earlier criticized teaching English in general, saying in 2016 that "now we have reached to a point that English language learning has been extended to kindergartens".

Following his comments, the ministry of education put a ban on teaching English at primary schools.

English is not included in Iran's official curriculum during the six years of primary school, but various non-governmental and a small part of public schools teach students English as an extra-curricular subject, and these classes are not mandatory.

In recent years, some government officials have also suggested that instead of English, the teaching of Russian, Chinese and German languages should be supported in Iran.

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