Language of the future, for the future

China, already a superpower on the world stage, certainly commands our respect and attention. International relations with the nation hosting one-fifth of the world’s population are now more important than ever. President Obama’s recent trip to China certainly demonstrates the necessity to strengthen ties and achieve “cooperation, not confrontation.”

“The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world,” Obama said. (U.S.-China ties to shape 21st century)

In a joint appearance with President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, Obama hailed China as an economic partner that has “proved critical in our effort to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations.” The day before, speaking to students in Shanghai, he described China’s rising prosperity as “an accomplishment unparalleled in human history.” (In China, U.S. strikes conciliatory tone)

Now, what if President Obama could have said all of this in Mandarin?

The College Board, recognizing the importance of preparing US students to meet the challenges and opportunities a new China presents, is preparing a new generation of American students wishing to learn Mandarin Chinese. To this end, they now offer a Chinese AP examination, which 3,261 students took the first year it was offered. In China, there are more than 50,000 English training organizations; in the United States, there are less than 10 institutions preparing Mandarin instructors. Approximately 300 million Chinese are learning and speaking English, beginning in the third grade, or even earlier. However, in the United States, there is a shortage of certified teachers, and it is very expensive to hire Chinese teachers for geographically diverse school populations.

Virtual online learning is the fastest and most economical and effective solution to this shortage of teachers. The myChinese360 program recognizes the importance of learning Chinese and designed a comprehensive system with a platform designed specifically for K-12 that is aligned with national standards.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Language of the future, for the future”
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