by: Ray Ritchey
Parents in the olden days had their children learn another language for a variety of reasons. These days, our world is fast becoming connected everywhere. We can now meet and connect with anyone, anywhere. The newest turn of technology presses the reason why we should have children learn another language, such as Chinese (or more languages even if conditions permit).
There are a lot of languages out there that may interest parents. Chinese is one the languages that have the most increase in the number of learners in the US. Most parents say the reason why kids should learn Chinese is mostly for future economic advantage, or for more personal reasons.
Why Learn Chinese?
Flexibility in future occupation. China is currently the second largest economy in the world. It is doing the groundwork to be the top economy, soon enough. Biggest factories in the world are now in China. The country that produces most products is also China. Conversely, the biggest export market right now in the US is China. Maybe when your child becomes of age to have a business or job, your child may have an opportunity to deal with economic leaders in China. Speaking Chinese for business transactions will definitely prove to be a handy skill.
Diplomacy in future leadership. Who knows, maybe your child will become a government leader. It is a big plus for leaders to know a variety of languages. Dealing with markets and Chinese leaders in the future are good reasons why people should learn Chinese.
Educational reasons. Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. It is over 5000 years old. Learning the Chinese language helps your child learn more about the Chinese culture. Learning a language gives a better understanding of the world from looking at how words are derived.
In the US, schools are offering language courses for students to be well-prepared for future opportunities. Chinese is one of the top languages enrolled in. If your child is already learning Chinese at this age, your child will be able to get top marks in language courses in school.
The SAT II also has a Chinese Proficiency Test, it will be a big plus if your child already knows one of the languages being tested before entering university.
Improved mental ability. Studies show that kids who are fluent in two or more languages, usually are more skilled in looking for different ways to solve problems. Since Chinese is a language that sounds way different from English, being proficient in both languages will trigger more mental associations whenever one word or phrase is thought over. Who knew learning Chinese can make people smarter?
Sensitivity to different cultures. Kids who know other languages are better able to identify with children of other races and cultures, but more especially so when the person comes from the country that the child knows the language of. Making friends with people of other cultures helps make children aware of respecting diversity. They are also able to communicate with other children and this opens their eyes to the situation of children with different backgrounds.
Likewise, there are a lot of Chinese communities around the world that your child may need to interact with in the future. Knowing Chinese will be a big advantage.
Net effectiveness. What language is most used in the internet today? English? No. Mandarin Chinese is the most used language in the internet today. The net is the vital part of the present and future. It will pay well if your child knows how to communicate in Chinese online.
Family reasons. If you, your spouse’s or your child has Chinese background, knowing how to speak Chinese connects your child to relatives in a highly emotional manner, compared to relatives speaking a different language. Also, if you have Chinese background, letting your child know the language of your ancestry instills love and pride for the culture. It is harder to love a culture (or a family member) when you don’t understand each other, only because of language reasons.
These days, learning Chinese is not as complex as it used to be. There are books, books with audio guides, videos, songs, software and other easily accessible learn Chinese materials and will truly help a lot in learning to speak Chinese. With this in mind, there is another reason as to why learn Chinese – because you can.