Speak Chinese to me
More students around the world should speak Chinese, according to the Chinese President Xi Jinping. While visiting the US and the UK, he spoke to politicians about expanding Chinese language teaching, to improve internationalization and international relationships.The call from the Chinese leader is clearly heard by the Western countries. The US has launched a so-called 1 Million Strong program, and in the UK, the thousandth Confusius Institute was opened recently. The American program is aimed at raising the number of students who study Mandarin to 1 million by 2020. The president has made an important point out of stimulating the mobility between the US and China.
The two superpowers are not the only countries that flirt with the idea of teaching Chinese in school. Here in the Netherlands, high school students at the highest level, VWO, can start learning Chinese in 2017. State Secretary for Education Dekker has decided to give schools the option to offer Chinese because China is getting more and more important on a world level. It is a hard language to learn though, so the level that students have to reach will not be as high as is demanded in English and French.