U.S. students are learning the language in school. It is spoken in China.
There are thousands of languages in the world. More people speak Mandarin than any other language. It is a form of Chinese. In the United States, many schools are teaching Mandarin to kids.
“Learning Chinese offers a window into another world,” Michael Bacon told TFK. He leads immersion programs at public schools in Portland, Oregon. Students through fifth grade spend half the school day learning in Mandarin. The other half of the school day, they learn in English. Students become bilingual .
A Head Start
Interest in Mandarin is growing in U.S. schools. There are many reasons for this. Mandarin challenges kids. It can help them get ready for the business world. It connects some kids to their heritage.
“The United States and China are two of the largest and most powerful countries in the world,” says Eugene Huang. He leads the U.S.-China Strong Foundation. The group has a goal. It wants 1 million U.S. students to be learning Mandarin by 2020.
“The more students understand China’s culture, history, and language, the better prepared they will be for the future,” Huang says.
Would you like to learn Mandarin? Why or why not?
How would speaking another language help you succeed in business?
A Fun Festival
Chinese festivals are celebrated around the world. This year’s Dragon Boat Festival begins on May 30. People race dragon boats. They eat rice dumplings. The holiday honors a famous Chinese poet. Study the dragon boat diagram. Then answer the questions.
1. True or false: A dragon boat has 10 paddlers.
2. Where does the person who steers the boat stand?
3. How do drumbeats help the paddlers?
Bonus: Would you like to race a dragon boat? Share your answer with a friend.