Asian Media Online
Being Bilingual in America and learning Chinese
America is the cultural melting pot of the world. More so today than even as defined in history. The future looks as though children will have to speak at least one other language than English in their adult lifetime. The second most widely used language in the world, contrary to beliefs, is Chinese. In classrooms around America, multi-cultural classes are popping up to incorporate traditional lessons with cultural diverse studies. By doing so, children are learning to appreciate the diversity and traditions of other cultures along with their own.
On the pacific coast, in Bellevue, Washington, children have the opportunity to learn Chinese along side of cultural traditions and history. The philosophy being the socio-economical need for those who speak Chinese to be available to meet the demands in tomorrow’s world. Linguistic diversity is impacting schools everywhere. The need to preserve the Chinese language and traditions while co-existing in American is equally as important to the Chinese as the need to learn Chinese is for Americans. Chinese-Americans wish to hold tight to their heritage and merge with English traditions and ways.
By learning Chinese, we allow them to do just that. Communication and unity of needs are met by interchange of language dynamics. When learning a second language, like Chinese, human relationships and connections to their cultures become enhanced and reflective of a common goal. The bilingual classes in Bellevue encourage learning Chinese at a young age when the child has stronger cognition and learning processes. Many programs like these, develop a multitude of different learning schedules to be able to reach out to as many as they can. By being flexible they are able to offer unique programs, like after school, pre-school, or summer school activities. Also, popular in this area, are “meet ups”, or groups where people meet up to engage in cultural exchange. It could be an American wishing to improve his Chinese or a Chinese-American wishing to keep up on their native language or to teach others about their cultural richness. These ‘meet ups’ provide endless opportunities for gaining vast knowledge and application of the Chinese language and culture. Learning the Chinese language today or teaching our children to be bilingual for tomorrow may fast become one of the best decisions we could make.
In looking ahead at world economy, China and America are creating paths to one unified place in financial and social affairs. It is in our best interests to have complete understanding and a working knowledge of the Chinese language in order to keep focus, improve communications, and wean ourselves off the idea of minority status. The future will address more blending of cultures and the need for sensitivity in a diverse one world economy. Ethnic identity remains important for each groups heritage whether Chinese, Spanish, or even Irish. Holding onto those roots encouraged immensely, but also adding knowledge of other cultures mandatory for success in relationships of the future. By learning Chinese now creates those healthy relationships of tomorrow.
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