Convince your child to learn Chinese?

Feb 06

Based on responses to CNN’s Jack Cafferty;

Many now starting to believe that China holds the key to all of our futures. Not only that China is the largest foreign holder of U.S debt, the Chinese also have a significant financial stake in many other countries around the world. We were also led to believe that they have lent more money to developing countries in the past couple of years than the World Bank.

Jack Cafferty then asked: If you were the parent of a small child, would you make him/her learn Chinese?

Jen in New York writes:
I am the parent of a 6-year-old who attends 1st grade at a private school in New York. She and her fellow students study Mandarin five days a week from 1st through 6th grades. It is not optional. I’m thinking of taking classes myself, just so I’ll know what they’re up to when they start chatting with each other in Chinese.

Pete in Georgia writes:
Dream on, Jack. The average American kid can’t even speak English properly, and you’re asking them to learn Chinese? Yeah, right.

Jeff in South Riding, Virginia writes:
Our 8-year old is already fluent in Chinese. His grandparents and great aunts and uncles on his mother’s side live in China and he talks with them regularly on Skype. He also attends Chinese school on the weekends to learn to read and write the language. We hope this will improve his chances of competing in the world when he grows up.

Jay in Pennsylvania writes:
There is no need at all. Most Chinese kids today learn English starting in elementary school. Everywhere you go in China, you can find college graduates who are fluent in English and who have studied overseas in Western countries. Chinese people know that English is still the most widely spoken language in the world. American kids should devote their time and energy to improve their other subjects such as math and physics.

Pat in Michigan writes:
If I were going to raise a child in these times, I would definitely encourage my children to learn Chinese. Our daughter learned German, Spanish and Latin and teaches all three. In the new world economy, communication is key.

J. writes:
When I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics, I believed my then 6-year-old daughter better start learning Mandarin.

Ryan in New Brunswick, New Jersey writes:
I for one welcome having children and adults learn Mandarin or Cantonese. That way Hollywood will stop dubbing martial arts films and we can enjoy them in their native tongue.


What do you think?


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