Chinese language teaching has started in two schools here, making Targovishte the country's eighth town where children can learn Chinese, officials announced Thursday. Public interest in Chinese language is growing tremendously, said Diyan Detchev, deputy mayor, while opening a special concert marking the beginning of Chinese language teaching in the town. "More than 130 students from middle and upper classes of two schools have already expressed a wish to learn the language of Confucius," Detchev said. Rumen Novakov, Chairman of the local association "Friends of China", told Xinhua that the Chinese language classes would be elective and are free of charge for the students. "There are willing people to attend a Chinese language course for adults, and it is likely to start next month," he added. A first Bulgarian school began Chinese language teaching in 1992 in Sofia, followed by another school from the Danube town of Ruse in 2005. Over the past two years, Chinese language teaching has become increasingly popular in the Balkan country. Data from the Confucius Institute in Sofia showed that currently nearly 1,000 children are studying Chinese language in 10 schools in seven Bulgarian towns. To put teaching Chinese language in a serious frame, Bulgarian experts established Association for the Promotion of Chinese Language and Chinese Culture in September 2012.