"I just started learning the language, but the way my teachers taught us helped us get a lot of insight into the Chinese culture which not only increased our interest in the language but also widened our horizon," said a student.
by Misbah Saba Malik
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Sana Farooq has been learning the Chinese language at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) for over a month, and the more she learns about the Chinese language, the more she feels herself getting attached to the Chinese culture.
"I just started learning the language, but the way my teachers taught us helped us get a lot of insight into the Chinese culture which not only increased our interest in the language but also widened our horizon," Farooq told Xinhua after her class.
Due to the rising demand and popularity of the Chinese language in Pakistan after the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), several Pakistani universities including the NUML made it mandatory for all students pursuing a bachelor's degree to pass a test of basic understanding of the Chinese language.
As a result, thousands of students are learning the Chinese language in the country. The students give credit for their interest in the Chinese language to their teachers who are acting as cultural ambassadors of China in Pakistan by teaching students the language and telling them about the Chinese culture.
The teachers are mostly local people with a large number of female teachers who have spent a lifetime learning and teaching the language.
Most of the teachers have studied in China and observed its culture closely during their stay in different Chinese cities.
The teachers are now sharing their experiences and observation with their young students, many of whom aspire to follow their teachers' footsteps.
Sabiha Haseeb, who has a master's degree in the Chinese language from Shanghai University, now teaches the language in the NUML, and half of her day is spent telling about the beauty of the Chinese culture to her students.
She especially mentioned her Chinese teachers who made her feel at home during her stay in China and won her over with their love and hospitality.
"They were so dedicated and concerned about their students. After learning the good qualities of being a competent teacher from my teachers in China, I try to be the same loving and revered teacher to my students," Haseeb told Xinhua.
She said that the Chinese language is more than just academic knowledge to her students, but also a pathway of knowing more about China and the Chinese people, such as their culture, food, custom, and history.
Muhammad Mateen Hashmi, a Chinese language teacher in the NUML, believes that the Pakistani students' interest in the Chinese language is because of the friendship between the two countries and people-to-people contact which is getting stronger day by day.
"Teachers, as ambassadors of the Chinese culture, has a great responsibility in not only teaching students about the language but also showing their professional excellence by enhancing the students' interest in China. Most of the teachers in Pakistan are doing this job well," Hashmi told Xinhua.