Scrapbookpages Blog

September 4, 2011

American schools prepare children for the day when China will be the world’s greatest super power

Filed under: Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:28 pm

It won’t be long before China surpasses America as a super power.  In preparation for that day, which is not far off, American elementary schools are now offering “immersion programs” in Cantonese and also Mandarin, which is the official language of business in China.  The Chinese immersion classes start as early as kindergarten.  In California, the Sacramento City Unified District began offering Chinese-English immersion classes for students in 2010.

In the first year of an immersion program, elementary school children in the Sacramento area will have classes in which 80% of the instruction is in a Chinese language and 20% in English, but over the next five years, the percentage will be 50-50 between English and Chinese. Instruction in Mandarin Chinese will begin in the fourth grade. The students in these classes will be Asian and non-Asian; there is a waiting list to get into these classes.

Way back in the 1800s in the USA, there were “German schools” in Missouri and Wisconsin which taught elementary school classes in both German and English.  This was at a time when many households in America spoke only German and students entered kindergarten knowing only German, which was the language spoken at home.  During World War I, there were many American soldiers who spoke fluent German, which they had learned at home.  By the time that America was fighting Germany in World War II, there was still one in four Americans who could speak German.  This came in handy when America occupied Germany.  As a result of years of occupation, the German people now speak English better than most Americans.

Meanwhile, young people in China are learning American culture.  They are being introduced to Harry Potter, American junk food, and Anne Frank.  When I visit my TCM Chinese doctor twice a week, I read the magazines in the waiting room.  In some of the Chinese magazines, half of the articles are in Chinese and the other half are in English.  I’m learning about ancient Chinese customs and history, while the Chinese-Americans in the waiting room are reading about how China is rapidly becoming Americanized.

Where will it all end?  I don’t know, but I’m making friends with as many Chinese-Americans as I can.  As for language, I’m still trying to learn German.

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