少得很。在我的 blog 的主页上列着你们的网址，一共只有6个。我想问一问，你们
结果不太大，潘吉帮我添了一个：Our Story，现在我一共认识8个 blog（包括本站）。我个人觉得最奇怪就是不包括韩国的在内，不过已经有不少的国籍。我们是一个国际家庭，希望我们家继续发展，天天增多！
由 Todd 发表于 2005年05月02日 16:14
USA-LANGUAGE (GENERAL FEATURE)
FEATURE-More young Americans take Chinese language challenge
By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent
POTOMAC, Maryland, May 1 (Reuters) - Studying geometry can
be taxing for a 10-year-old. But Dr Zhang's class of young
American students are not merely learning all the angles, they
are doing it in Chinese.
Maryland's Potomac Elementary School, in a prosperous suburb
north of Washington, D.C., is one of a growing number of U.S.
schools that teach Chinese -- a hot language thanks to China's
surging economy and growing world clout.
At Potomac Elementary, children as young as 6 are honing
their Chinese, motivated by a mix of parental prodding and their
own desire to do something different.
"It's pretty amazing, especially the first few months at
school, when you walk into a kindergarten classroom, and the
children are understanding what the teacher is saying and it's
all in Chinese," said Linda Goldberg, the school's principal.
"Half of the time the kids aren't even aware that the
teacher is speaking a different language. They just fall right
into it," said Holly Hand, whose daughter Chloe is in Zhang's
The United States has declared 2005 the "year of languages"
although few Americans are aware of the designation. According
to a 2002 Modern Language Association survey, more college
students are studying foreign languages than ever before.
Enrolment in Chinese rose 20 percent over 1998.
The 1.4 million students learning 15 leading languages
represented a 17 percent increase over 1998. But only 9.3
percent of Americans are able to speak both their native
language and a second tongue, compared to 52.7 percent of
Europeans, according to the Census Bureau.
At first glance, weighty national priorities take a back
seat to the fun of cultural exchange at Potomac Elementary.
Hallways are festooned with Chinese art and learning aids,
such as stuffed animals labeled with Chinese names. Children
sing Chinese folk songs and U.S. nursery rhymes in Chinese.
But in Zhang Zhian's fifth-grade immersion class, songs and
games come only after a rigorous vocabulary drill and lessons on
triangles and trapezoids -- all taught in Chinese.
"My students are good at listening and do pretty well at
reading, but writing is a weak point," said Zhang, who has a PhD
in education and was a teacher in his native Beijing.
Ian Alers said mastering Chinese characters was tough.
"Writing's pretty hard because you have to do the strokes in
the right order," said the fifth-grader.
Chloe Hand, 10, says Chinese is "cool" and that she is
starting to catch on to the complex writing system of characters
that contain elements of meaning and sound.
"It's a totally different language. There's nothing to refer
to," she said. "I can write Coca-Cola in Chinese and it has a
lot of little boxes that refer to a mouth."
Dreams of selling Coca-Cola and other U.S. products to China
have helped drive interest in Chinese studies. According to the
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, 640 U.S.
colleges offer Chinese programs, while 102 schools from
kindergarten to 12th grade teach Chinese.
Teaching Chinese is also of keen interest to the U.S.
government, which launched the National Security Education
Program (NSEP) in 1994 to fund university studies of languages
of key world regions, including East Asia and the Middle East.
The NSEP in 2002 inaugurated the National Flagship Language
Initiative, a pilot programme in Arabic, Chinese, Korean and
Russian -- languages deemed critical to U.S. security.
GREAT LEAP FOR AMERICA
At the Landon School, a private boys school in nearby
Bethesda, Maryland, 17-year-old Quentin West said he started
Chinese six years ago because "I thought it would be pretty
But as he contemplates college, the Clinton, Maryland native
recognises good opportunities in China.
"China's expanding, and now they need services and what not,
and I guess lawyers and businessmen," West said.
Parents of Potomac students, some of whom are taking Chinese
night classes to keep up with their children, say they are
loathe to plan careers for 10 year olds.
"Even if my child doesn't use her Chinese going forward,
she's learned so much about another culture," said Hand.
Learning Chinese helps kids by "making their synapses jump in a
different way than if they just learn their ABCs," she said.
Allison Rosenstock, 10, said she wants to follow her father
and "start my own business and have an office in China."
Landon student John Skolnik, 17, said his studies would
bring national gain as well as personal achievement.
"When a lot of kids like us grow up and hopefully are able
to speak Chinese, and get jobs with businesses who are trading
and doing business with China, it will be a big leap for a
country like the United States," he said.