The BBC on Mandarin immersion in the US (and US-China business…)
US-China summit: California welcomes rise of Asian giant
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.
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.”
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