Chinese Learning on the Rise 学汉语热升温
By Mandy Jory
关键词：Chinese, language, opportunity
Well, in the 1980s, many parents thought about teaching their children Japanese to help them better 1)adapt to Japan's economic rise, which seemed so certain then. Now the language 2)de jour is Chinese and some parents are 3)going to great lengths to make sure their children can speak it, read it and write it.
At a time when foreign language in many schools is being hurt by budget cuts, Chinese instruction in U.S. classrooms is growing rapidly. With China's growing importance on the world stage, parents, students and educators are all hoping that learning Chinese may mean new opportunities.
While the relationship between China and the United States goes through its usual strains over currency and trade imbalances, there's no denying the growing importance of China to our economy, a fact that many parents here in New York have not ignored.
This is a Chinese Immersion School in New York. The parents are of diverse backgrounds, but the reasons for sending their children here have a common 4)thread.
Parent A: It's obvious that Mandarin's gonna play an increasing role in the future.
Parent B: If he keeps up with it, I think it opens up doors…
In 2003 5)Goldman-Sachs predicted that China would overtake the United States as the world's largest economy in 2041; now it says 2027. That'll be just as these children here are hitting the marketplace.
Little wonder that the demand for accelerated Chinese learning is growing from as early as age two.
From 1997 to 2008, the number of middle and high schools offering Chinese has 6)quadrupled. Among elementary schools it has grown ten-fold…
Sharon Huang (Chinese School Owner): When we started this six years ago, it was in the basement of my home—it was about five kids—and now we've expanded to two locations. We have over 150 students combined.
… something which will hopefully optimize communication and cooperation with our second-largest trading partner.
Job experts we spoke to say that speaking Chinese may not only get you in the door in many places, but could also mean a bigger salary.