Monday, November 19, 2012

Top Ten Reasons to Study Mandarin Chinese

“Preparing Students for success and citizenship in a
 global community through Chinese language and culture”
Learning Mandarin Chinese as a second language will increase opportunities for School District of Janesville (SDJ) students, given the emerging importance of China.  Chinese is currently being taught at the following SDJ schools:
Harrison Elementary School (Grades 3-5)
Roosevelt Elementary School (Grades 3-5)
Madison Elementary School (Grade 4)
Edison Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Marshall Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Janesville Virtual Academy

Top Ten Reasons to Study Mandarin Chinese
  • The rise of China presents new economic, political and social realities that demand greater U.S. engagement at every level. As the foundation of that engagement, we urgently need to raise the number of Americans who can demonstrate a functional proficiency in Chinese.
  • China’s tremendous economic growth creates new opportunities and challenges for U.S. businesses. Between 1978 and 2002, China's annual GDP growth reached 9.4%, three times the world's average, and in recent years (2001-2004) China accounted for one third of global economic growth.
  • China is an immense market for American goods and services, and a vital supplier to American manufacturers and consumers. U.S. trade with China exceeded $245 billion in 2004 (second only to trade with Canada and Mexico).
  • China’s political importance in the Asia-Pacific region is broadly acknowledged and, particularly since 9/11, its help has been sought on difficult issues like North Korea and terrorism. Collaboration with China is increasingly deemed essential for solving a range of global issues, from nuclear proliferation to the environment, from currency exchange to trade laws. These are the types of problem solving skills are students will need.  The Janesville Academy for International Studies has been involved in an international forum regarding nuclear nonproliferation for a number of years.
  • As the most enduring world civilization, China has a major international cultural presence.
  •  China has a rich heritage in literature and cuisine, music and film, dance and art, religion and philosophy.
  • An official language of the United Nations, Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, extending beyond the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, to the Philippines, and to Mongolia.
  • Chinese will top English as the most-used language on the Internet by 2007, according to forecasts by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • In the United States the Asian and Pacific Islander population is projected to grow 213 percent, from 10.7 million to 33.4 million, in the next 50 years, a substantial demographic shift. Their share of the nation’s population will double, from 3.8 percent to 8 percent.
  • Promoted during the 18th National Congress last week in Beijing and also by President Obama, international involvement, education including language development is being supported by both countries.

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