Thursday, May 18, 2006

China matters

Will Stowe become the first public school in Vermont to offer Chinese to its students as a foreign language? Reporter Marina Knight takes a look at that question in this week's issue, which cropped up at Monday's school board meeting. While the Vermont Department of Education says two other private schools in the state offer Chinese, no other public schools do. That may change as China becomes an even bigger player in the global village.

Apparently, it's a growing trend in some parts of the country.This CBS station in Chicago, for example, reports that the city's mayor recently met with China's minister of education, in part, to talk about recruiting Chinese-language teachers for Chicago. There are 20 Chicago public schools with Chinese language programs, the news station reports, and interest in the program has "grown rapidly."

Elsewhere, the Associated Press reports that several schools in Kentucky are expanding Chinese language courses to "satisfy student and parent interest in non-Western languages." Though the number of students taking Chinese there remains small, the school district is "expanding Chinese offerings to at least three schools, compared with just one last year" and are "seeking federal funds to create an elementary Chinese curriculum."

The San Francisco Chronicle says that "the number of students taking the SAT Chinese subject test — offered in both simplified and traditional forms — has nearly doubled, from 2,865 in 1996 to 4,917 in 2004."

One of the incentives of offering Chinese at Stowe High, according to Lamoille schools superintendent Alice Angney, is that “If you are at all attuned to the future, Asian language is the language that’s going to be needed.” Here's a pretty good primer on that. Interesting.


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11:58 AM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said...

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4:16 PM  

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