Wednesday, November 29, 2006


...or Chinese as a Second Language is enjoying a surge of popularity as more Americans send their kids to schools where Mandarin is taught.

The Chinese government has been actively promoting its language for a few years, and it seems to be paying off at San Francisco's Chinese-American International School.

For example, five years ago, the school was 57 percent Asian-American, but this year it is only 49 percent Asian-American, said Sharline Chiang, its spokeswoman, adding that more non-Asian-Americans have been applying in recent years. Andrew Corcoran, the head of the school, said that in the last three to four years, applications from white and Indian-American families have more than doubled, though he declined to give exact figures.

Ms. Chiang also said that this was the first year in which the prekindergarten class had more white children, 36 percent, than Asian-Americans, 32 percent.

School officials attribute the changes largely to a growing awareness of China as a global economic force, and to a strong sense among parents that learning Chinese could help their children professionally. As Mr. Corcoran said, studying Chinese “is looked at as a long-term benefit.”

I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of this.

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