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American families are uprooting their entire lives and relocating their families to China to give their children a leg up in learning Mandarin as China’s influence continues to grow, according to The Wall Street Journal.High-powered American couples reportedly move to China and enroll their children in elementary schools that teach Mandarin. Instruction is completed in two years in these schools, and then the families move back to the United States.
And even if parents aren’t moving there, they are choosing Mandarin submersion programs, hiring tutors, using Skype to talk with teachers in Beijing, and even hiring Chinese-speaking nannies.
Sources told The WSJ that prospective employees who speak Mandarin have a leg-up in the job market, and doting American parents are trying to do everything they can possible to give them that edge.
Learning Mandarin is hardly an easy task. It’s a tonal language and there’s no “right” way to learn it.
To earn certification in Mandarin, it takes 2,200 class hours, and half of that time spent must be spent in a Mandarin-speaking country. For comparison’s sake, Spanish can be learned in 600 to 750 class hours.
Ironically in China, where a huge emphasis is placed on education, 85 per cent of people whose household income is more than $950,000 recently said they planned on sending their children abroad to study.
So, Americans are still playing catch up.
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