Chinese in, European languages out.

(Photo courtesy of  Xinhua)

How many of us studied French, German, Spanish, Italian and even Latin, when we were in school? Almost everyone I knew studied one of these languages for at least two years in middle or high school. I not only studied Spanish in middle school, but tried to pick up a little French once I hit college. I thought it sounded more romantic. Boy, have things changed now. Languages such as Latin, French, Italian and German are fading out of the school systems as fast as the devastated funding picture in public education today. It seems that educators, parents, and students are looking for languages that can open up opportunities for students’ future in a meaningful way. From a purely economical standpoint, I guess I can understand this line of thinking. Other than Spanish, which is widely spoken in the Western Hemisphere, languages such as French and German have become almost isolated to their own countries. Oh sure, there are still a few French colonies somewhere out there, but let’s face it, French has probably seen its heyday.

What people now realize is that we need students to learn foreign languages to open prospective jobs and connections not only for themselves, but for the future of the United States’. Careers in international business and communications require a second language. The fact that China is now the fourth largest and fastest growing economy in the world means their emergence must be taken very seriously. China’s emergence as a world superpower will change how we do business here in the United States.

The decline in interest in Latin, French, and German at first glance seems daunting. However, foreign language frenzy is upon us. Chinese is the hottest education trend in the United States. Thousands of schools are rushing to implement new courses and curriculums so their students are a part of an elite group in a young generation of students and college applicants.

The New York Times reports an over 500% increase in schools offering Chinese instruction in the past decade. In fact, our nation’s schools cannot meet the demand. The problem is a limited number of Mandarin Chinese speakers in the United States. The 2000 United States Census Bureau found about two million Chinese speakers in the United States, but the number teaching Chinese is minimal. The article reports:

Some schools are paying for Chinese classes on their own, but hundreds are getting some help. The Chinese government is sending teachers from China to schools all over the world — and paying part of their salaries. (Foreign Languages Fade in Class – Except Chinese)

Most schools, however, are not fortunate enough to receive this luxury. How do schools quickly fill the need for Mandarin Chinese instruction without Chinese instructors? Hiring, housing, and certifying teachers from China compile significant costs. Districts must also create curriculums for each level of instruction, preparing students for Advanced Placement exams and fluency. Is it all worth it? There is certainly no shortage in interest among students.

The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Chinese, introduced in 2007, has grown so fast that it is likely to pass German this year as the third most-tested A.P. language, after Spanish and French, said Trevor Packer, a vice president at the College Board. (Foreign Languages Fade in Class – Except Chinese)

The shortage of Mandarin Chinese instructors is no quick fix. However, there are other options.  The Internet’s unique ability to connect people all over the world instantly provides unique opportunities for education. Education does not only occur in the classroom; it is everywhere, in your living room, at the coffee shop, and in your bedroom. New programs, like myChinese360, bring the vital aspects of the classroom: live, face-to-face instruction with your teacher, to both schools and homes. In the race for Chinese instruction, a certified, online language program is the fastest way to implement this important language and get students learning ahead of the competition.

Advertisements
Comments
6 Responses to “Chinese in, European languages out.”
  1. WP Themes says:

    Genial fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you seeking your information.

  2. A actually great submit by you my friend. We have bookmarked this page and will appear back following several days to examine for any new posts that you simply make.

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] of American children now learning Chinese in schools. We aren’t the only ones that think Chinese is the best language to learn. It appears some parents, including the Obamas, realize we cannot neglect China in future business […]

  2. […] Related post: Chinese in, European languages out […]

  3. […] of American children now learning Chinese in schools. We aren’t the only ones that think Chinese is the best language to learn. It appears some parents, including the Obamas, realize we cannot neglect China in future business […]

  4. […] Related post: Chinese in, European languages out […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: