CHINA — The Chinese government has introduced new rules that require universities to teach at least one foreign language and arts and sciences in the Chinese language.
The regulations, published Wednesday in the People’s Daily, will apply to Chinese language schools and universities as well as those affiliated with foreign language centers and arts institutions.
It will be the first time that such a requirement has been required in China since the end of World War II.
Chinese language teachers in China are already required to have the same level of proficiency in a foreign language as a regular Chinese teacher.
While the language requirements are not set in stone, they have been the subject of intense public debate and criticism.
Some have complained that the new requirement will make it more difficult for the country’s young students to master the language.
Others have called it a step backward in the countrys push toward modernization and cultural integration.
Critics say the new requirements are unnecessary and will have no impact on the quality of teaching in the education system.
Students are expected to be proficient in the languages they are learning, while foreign language teachers will be required to maintain a level of knowledge equivalent to that of a professional foreign language teacher.
The requirements for teaching at least two foreign languages in China will include at least 10 minutes of lessons in foreign languages, five hours of lessons of at least 50 words or phrases, and 10 minutes in a third language.
The rules are intended to ensure the learning of foreign language skills, particularly in the sciences, according to the government.
The education minister said the regulations will allow universities and other education institutions to better prepare students for life in China.
“The education authorities will also be able to better supervise and support the teaching of foreign languages,” he said.
In addition, foreign language students in universities will have the right to speak Mandarin and the ability to study in Mandarin.
For students, the new regulations mean they will be able “to study a second language at the same university” or at a university affiliated with a foreign institution, the Education Ministry said in a statement.
Foreign language students will also need to maintain their proficiency in Chinese for two years and they will not be able teach English to foreign students for a year, it added.
China is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy by 2022, according a report by McKinsey and Co. With more than 300 million people, China is one of the worlds largest economies.
Its education system is in a state of flux and many foreign language schools are shut down.
Many foreign language colleges have closed their doors, and universities have been struggling to find space and staff.
This year, the country banned foreign language teaching in schools for the first times.