Time Magazine Article: A Mandarin School in Minneapolis

Fascinating article here about a Mandarin immersion school in Minneapolis. I believe that attending an immersion school like the Yinghua Academy for several years is one of the only ways a person can become truly fluent in Mandarin while still living in the United States.

From a cross-cultural perspective, check out the part of the article that discusses some of the cultural adaptation challenges the Chinese and Taiwanese teachers are facing. These folks are living in an entirely different world now. I’d love to go and talk with them for a few hours about what the Americans are thinking.

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2 Comments

Filed under Chinese Language Instruction, The Learning Chinese Craze

2 responses to “Time Magazine Article: A Mandarin School in Minneapolis

  1. heather

    My school is having to make some buget cuts and is considering cutting the entire chinese language program. Can you give me some ideas on the benefits of having chinese language taught in schools.

    • truettblack

      Hi Heather,

      I’ve only got enough time for few thoughts, but I’ll refer you to someone who knows more about this than I do.

      My thoughts: China’s growth is unstoppable, and there is really no conceivable scenario in which the United States and China will not be close economic partners now and in the future. Chinese is a difficult language to learn. Chinese culture is dramatically different from United States culture. All the more reason to allow kids the chance to get started early in learning about Chinese culture and the Mandarin language. Schools that have the funds to provide such an opportunity to their kids ought to make the investment. In the United States, we’re good at teaching French, Spanish, and German, but we don’t know much about teaching Chinese. That means that you’ll want to get expert advice on how to implement a Chinese language learning program.

      To wit, there is a lady who will be able to provide you with more expert advice than I can. Her name is Dr. Terry Thatcher Waltz, and you can contact her through her website: http://www.chineseandspanish.com/. In addition to being an expert translator and interpreter, Terry is involved in creating and teaching Chinese language learning programs in the United States. I highly recommend her as a rich source of knowledge and expertise on the question you’ve asked here.

      Best of luck to you and your school. Though I am fluent in Mandarin, my area of expertise is cross-cultural communications between Westerners and the Chinese diaspora. If I can answer any specific questions about cultural differences, please don’t hesitate to post them here.

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