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Old 01-14-2011, 08:45 AM
 
128 posts, read 733,119 times
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My friend's daughter has started learning Chinese. Her father is a successful business professional & believes this will be a good skill for the future.

Do you think that our kids should learn to speak Chinese?

Carol
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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Absolutely! Chinese children are learning to speak English. American children will be at the disadvantage if they never learn to speak other languages fluently.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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Yes, yes and yes!!

And 11 is a great age to learn a foreign language. Age 11 to 13 are kind of golden years to be able to pick up languages. If she is motivated and has a good teacher she'll do well. I began learning Spanish in school when I was eight. When I lived in So Cal I used it every single day. (Nothing like knowing what other people are saying about you when they think you're clueless.)

And Chinese is a language she will be using all of her life. I'm actually quite excited for her!
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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Yes! Why not? I wish I knew Chinese. It's one of those languages that is especially tough to pick up later in life, as it is such a different type of language. She'll definitely benefit from beginning learning it sooner rather than later.

I once attended a public forum sponsored by our LA-area public library. Many parents there -- many of them successful businesspeople -- believed that their kids should know, at a minimum, English, Spanish, and Chinese (Mandarin), with Korean cited as a useful fourth.

I don't think Chinese is the only language worth knowing, but it will certainly be useful and she's lucky to be able to get a head start on it now.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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One more thing, I have a friend who gives private lessons for people wanting to learn Chinese. She has said the younger the better. They soak it up. Apparently Chinese has a lot of vocal nuances and inflections which are more easily learned when you are young.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: NC
645 posts, read 834,154 times
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Absolutely without any reservation, whatsoever. In fact, I'd encourage her to learn as many foreign languages as she can - this is like giving her a skeleton key to the entire world.

Learning Chinese or any foreign language would certainly open up business opportunities, but you know, I think there's a greater benefit: It will open up your daughter's world and broaden her horizons like nothing else!

I envy this guy I know that can speak 8 languages. He travels all the time and never fails to make friends wherever he goes. He is a walking tapestry of wisdom, knowledge and understanding - not exactly sure if it's led to financial increase - but mentally, spiritually - it's paid him many, many times over. His experiences are so much richer and more meaningful because he has the ability to really connect with the people that he meets. Such an incredible asset!
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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When I was that age they only offered Spanish and French, not really useful then though Spanish is helpful now. When my kids were that age again with Spanish and French, but my oldest daughter did take Italian in Jr. High. In these current times both Japanese and Chinese are the most valuable languages to learn for future success if one wants to go into international trade, marketing, or be a buyer for a large retail corporation. My employer had offices in Japan until recent budget issues closed them up.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: maryland
3,967 posts, read 5,663,941 times
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I mean no...it reminds me of the drive to make us learn Spanish in school *because you will need it in the future*. The fact is English is a much easier language to use and pick up than Chinese so learning it should be for yourself or certain skilled jobs, but it isn't going to give the average person any sort of leg up in the world or anything.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Absolutely! Chinese children are learning to speak English. American children will be at the disadvantage if they never learn to speak other languages fluently.

Why? Most of the western world uses English for business, and the amount of Chinese who speak English is around 0.77 percent of the population....so it's not like they are blowing us out of the water or anything
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:16 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,800,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caroldixit View Post
My friend's daughter has started learning Chinese. Her father is a successful business professional & believes this will be a good skill for the future.

Do you think that our kids should learn to speak Chinese?

Carol
Yes! IMO, children in the USA need to be fluent in at least 2 languages in addition to English. With the influence China has on the world stage it is prudent to have your children learn Chinese. Spanish is another language in which it will be necessary for American children to become fluent in the immediate future. Quite frankly the younger the age they begin to learn another language the better. I recall the foriegn language I learned in grade school significantly better than that which I studied in high school and college.

Interesting article on the cognitive benefits of learning foreign languages: Cognitive Benefits of Learning Language - American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
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