China’s rapidly growing economy means that learning Chinese is becoming a necessity for UK employees so the University of Birmingham has designed specific language courses for business people who need to converse with their Chinese counterparts.

The courses are tailor-made for business people who travel abroad and would like to improve their language skills. Participants gain experience of learning and speaking Chinese during 4 days of intensive training which include business and travel topics as well as a briefing about the culture of the country.

Jayne Sharples, course convenor, says, ‘British exports to China are expected to quadruple by the end of the decade and businesses need to think hard about how they can respond to the growing importance of China in the world economy. Employees who are fluent in English and Chinese are going to be much sought after and will be the executives of the future.’

The courses take place in the European Research Institute which houses the latest digitised language learning facilities. Teaching is in groups of a maximum of 8 participants and students are expected to do some revision between sessions to ensure the effectiveness of the course.

As well as Chinese, the centre runs courses in French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Business English courses designed for international professionals and business people are also offered. Anyone wanting to book a place or to discuss the possibility of tailor-made courses can call Jayne Sharples on 0121 414 6179 or email

The timetable is as follows:

Chinese Beginner Mondays 27 March, 3, 10 April

French Intermediate Tuesdays 28 March, 4, 11 April

German Beginner Wednesdays 29 March, 5, 12 April

Japanese Beginner Tuesdays 28 March, 4, 11 April

Spanish Beginner Thursdays 30 March, 6, 13 April

Chinese Beginner Fridays 23, 30 June, 7, 14 July

French Intermediate Tuesdays 20, 27 June, 4, 11 July

German Beginner Wednesdays 21, 28 June, 5, 12 July

Japanese Beginner Mondays 19, 26 June, 3, 10 July

Spanish Beginner Thursdays 22, 29 June, 6, 13 July


Notes to Editors

The courses are run by Birmingham International Business Communications, part of the University. The centre also provides translation and interpreting services for businesses.

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.