Chi­nese learn­ing de­mand in US grows

China Daily - - LIFE -

CHICAGO — When Ren Yi be­gan teach­ing Chi­nese in the US city of Den­ver over 20 years ago, she never thought she would be­come a pop­u­lar au­thor of Chi­nese lan­guage text­books.

“My self-made Chi­nese text­books have been sold through Ama­zon and other sales channels, so far the feed­back is very pos­i­tive,” says Ren.

Stand­ing in a booth at the re­cent an­nual con­ven­tion of the Chi­nese School As­so­ci­a­tion in the United States in St. Louis, Mis­souri, Ren greets the at­ten­dees.

“There is in­creas­ing de­mand for my text­books from US teach­ers of the Chi­nese lan­guage and stu­dents who want to im­prove their skills,” Ren says, adding that the pub­lish­ing house of her books has asked her to write new edi­tions.

Ren grad­u­ated from Ts­inghua Univer­sity, a top Chi­nese univer­sity. She started to write a book for be­gin­ners with the en­cour­age­ment of her stu­dents, who told her that her lec­tures were more ed­u­ca­tional than class­room texts.

“I tried to de­velop the first edi­tion of Chi­nese lan­guage books for Amer­i­can stu­dents, which turned out to be a big suc­cess,” Ren says.

She spent three years writ­ing her first book and soon started to write the sec­ond. She says she im­proves her books based on daily teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

In the past 20 years, Chi­nese ed­u­ca­tion has wit­nessed tremen­dous mo­men­tum in North Amer­ica, thanks to ded­i­cated ed­u­ca­tors, CSAUS pres­i­dent Liu Shen says. In re­cent years, Chi­nese lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion in the US has en­tered a new era.

“More than 200 stu­dents have been study­ing Chi­nese in our school in the last two or three years, which is three times more than we pre­dicted. Most of them go for our in­no­va­tive teach­ing of Chi­nese tra­di­tional cul­ture like lion danc­ing, Pek­ing Opera and so on,” says Xiao Teng, prin­ci­pal of Ames Chi­nese Lan­guage Academy in the US state of Iowa.

“We find more and more Amer­i­cans are learn­ing Chi­nese in Iowa,” adds Xiao.

Founded in 1994, the CSAUS is a non-profit com­posed of over 500 Chi­nese schools in over 50 US cities, with over 100,000 stu­dents and over 8,000 teach­ers.

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