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Last Updated: Tuesday July 28 2009 06:56 GMT

Maddy goes to Chinese classes

Maddy eats some Chinese food

Maddy learns all about China

Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world at the moment and experts reckon it's going to become even more important over the next few years.

Maddy's been to a special holiday camp where kids are getting some lessons.

"You might think school's out for the summer, but that's not the case for everyone.

Kids from all over England are staying at a school in Surrey this week, to learn Mandarin Chinese, and find out about Chinese culture, from traditional puppets to Tai Chi!

By the time I arrived the whole class could already ask each other's names in Chinese and talk about how they were feeling! I was really impressed.

Worth learning

Their teacher Sophia told me Britain is doing lots of business with China these days and it's expected we'll do even more over the next few years.

So she says it's definitely worth trying to learn it, because it could help you get a top job when you grow up.

Tai Chi class
Kids try out Tai Chi

The camp is run by the British Council and in the evenings there's a chance to sample traditional Chinese food and to learn how to use chopsticks! The chef whipped up some noodles for us to try. They were delicious!

Peaceful and calm

Next, it was time for Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese exercise regime to help you relax.

The school's really old and lessons took place in an amazing former ballroom with high ceilings and white walls with stunning carvings on them.

The music was really peaceful and calm. I didn't want the lesson to end!

Chinese class
One of the pupils with their puppet

Finally, there was a chance to make puppets.

Paper plates were used to make the faces of some traditional Chinese opera characters. Then these were glued on to brightly coloured fabric, shaped into a glove.

They all looked really good but the gold ones were my favourite!

Chinese holiday

China might be on the other side of the world but it certainly didn't feel that far away today.

One girl told me she used to think it was a really boring country where nothing much happened but now she is desperate to visit it!

It's definitely made it on to my holiday wish-list too!"

Maddy