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The BBC on Mandarin immersion in the US (and US-China business…)

June 17, 2013

US-China summit: California welcomes rise of Asian giant

Oakland waterfrontThe run down Oakland waterfront has seen a $1.5bn investment from China

Five-year-old Eli is perhaps the face of America’s future.

He looks a little nervous going in front of his 15 fellow pupils in his kindergarten class in a San Francisco school and reading out the children’s duties for the day.

His nerves are understandable. He’s speaking in a difficult, foreign language – Mandarin Chinese.

Behind him, an elegantly drawn poster of the sea, the sun, clouds and a ship, their names spelt out in Chinese characters.

This is Presidio Knolls School, where they practise what they call “total immersion” learning, speaking Chinese from day one.

Here, on the Pacific Ocean, where a third of the population are ethnic Chinese, President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia seems only natural.

Eli’s mother, Mikhal Bouganim, says: “As an economic and cultural force in our world, it feels like an appropriate language to learn.

“And we have this little Jewish kid running around talking Chinese, and we thought it was important for him to realise not everyone looks like him or sounds like him.”

Please read more here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2013 5:45 am

    Reblogged this on Utah Mandarin Immersion Parent Council.

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