For the last 10 years in the USA there has been a marked decline in the number of public schools opting to teach a foreign language. However, contrary to this trend, there has been a rush in recent years by schools to offer Chinese – and the Chinese government has been helping out too, paying up to 50% of Chinese teachers salaries. In this economic environment, it seems schools are finding this prospect too good to refuse!
In one school in Ohio, the Chinese language program was introduced in 2007 with 20 students – and now has over 80. “We were able to get a free Chinese teacher,” she said. “I’d like to start a Spanish program for elementary children, but we can’t get a free Spanish teacher.” comments Parthena Draggett, who directs the schools world languages department.
There are no current statistics on how many schools are offering Chinese, but latest surveys estimate that some 1,600 schools now offer Chinese (up from around 300 10 years ago). With free or partially paid teachers, the trend is also predicted to continue upwards
For more information on this, please see the original New York Times article and let us know in the comment section below if your school offers Chinese.