Lan­guage lessons prov­ing class apart

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

schools that pro­vide Chi­nese cour­ses in the United States.

Ac­cord­ing to the cen­sus re­port re­leased by the Amer­i­can Coun­cils for In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion in June, “ex­plo­sive growth” has been seen in the num­ber of US chil­dren choos­ing to learn Chi­nese.

Af­ter Span­ish, French and Ger­man, Man­darin has be­come the fourth largest for­eign lan­guage pur­sued by US stu­dents at el­e­men­tary and high schools.

But this has led to the chal­lenge of find­ing teach­ers.

StarTalk Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Ma­galy Lavadenz hoped to at­tract ed­u­ca­tors from the lo­cal area.

“This is a very rich and di­verse city. We have lots of Chi­nese im­mi­grants and Chi­nese her­itage com­mu­nity mem­bers. They should think about be­com­ing teach­ers, be­cause they are sec­ond-ca­reer peo­ple who can get the cre­den­tial and li­cense to be­come a teacher,” Lavadenz said.

Fong was also look­ing fur­ther afield. “I am try­ing to see if we can find a sis­ter school (in China), where we can ex­change ideas, and maybe have their teach­ers come out and ob­serve us. We can go and ob­serve them, and have stu­dents work with each other and be pen-pals.”

It is es­ti­mated that in the US there is a short­fall of 5,000 to 8,000 Chi­nese lan­guage teach­ers.

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