JERUSALEM, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kindergarten children in the Israeli city of Givatayim, aged 4 to 6, began to learn the Chinese language and culture as part of a special program, the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
Chinese language learning program began in several kindergartens in Givatayim, located east of the coastal city of Tel Aviv, and is expected to expand in the coming years.
The language is taught by two Chinese teachers. The first one is Ping Chen, who is married to an Israeli and lives in the state. She has experience in teaching Chinese to toddlers.
The second is Dafna Wang, who was born in China and currently lives in Israel. She studied language instruction for preschoolers at a university in China.
As part of Chinese studies, the children are exposed to Chinese culture and will learn songs, games, colors and wear Chinese traditional costumes.
After the first lesson, Chen said that "the children were really excited that a Chinese woman arrived at the kindergarten. I was amazed that after I taught them the numbers, one of the girls approached me at the end of the class and counted in Chinese Language."
Chen added that Chinese is a very difficult language, but it's easier for children. "They made me very excited and at the end of the class everyone wanted to hug me. It was lovely."
Chinese language lessons have already been held for several years in a high school in Givatayim.
Ran Kunik, mayor of Givatayim, told the newspaper that "the new program will expose the children to a fascinating new culture and language, which is gaining a major worldwide."