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January 19, 2011 / J. Shaw

OH School gets Money From China to Teach Chinese

Teaching Mandarin is a growing trend across schools in the U.S., the number of students enrolling in Chinese language and cultural programs has tripled in recently…..

A school district outside Columbus, Ohio, is to receive more than $1 million in federal grant money for its Chinese arts, language program…..plus $30,000 from Chinese government for the district. The Gahanna-Jefferson School District began teaching Mandarin Chinese four years ago and since then, the number of students in the program has increased from about 40 to 350.

Administrators felt China should have a home in their suburban Ohio school system since the communist country has the world’s second-largest economy and is becoming increasingly relevant.

“We owe it to our students so they can be a successful part of the world,” said Hank Langhals, coordinator for pupil services. “And China will be a major player there.”

The district has been dubbed a Confucius Classroom, which in a nutshell means it has earned the support of the Chinese Ministry of Education. The funds will be used, school officials say, to support their visiting teacher from China and to foster the newly formed relationship with their sister school in the southern Chinese province of Kunming.

From New England to California and many places in between, dozens of public schools have similar relationships with the Chinese government. And the number continues to grow.

Chinese student loving life at U.S. college

During his visit to the United States this week, Chinese President Hu Jintao plans to visit one such program at the Walter Payton College Prep school in Chicago.

The nonprofit Asia Society works, in many instances, with the Chinese government to help secure new Confucius Classrooms and relationships. They work with more than 60 schools in the U.S.

MORE…...cnn.com/

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