Chinese language in US is increasing

Updated: 2012-02-14 07:42

By David Lariviere (China Daily)

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NEW YORK - Like a good academic, Jean Adilifu did her homework.

The assistant principal for foreign languages at the Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in New York had all the data at her fingertips before responding to questions about the recently released China Daily/Gallup poll.

"Spanish is the No 1 foreign language offered in the schools across the country, French is second and Chinese is third - but growing exponentially," Adilifu added.

In the survey of 2,007 US citizens and 250 opinion leaders, conducted in December, four choices were given to the question, "If you were given a chance to learn a new foreign language, which language would you rather learn?"

Not surprisingly, Spanish was the easy winner with 58 percent, but Chinese placed second at 15 percent. Arabic was third with 11 percent and Japanese trailed at 10 percent.

Chinese language in US is increasing

US students learn how to write Chinese characters with brushes in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The students, from State University of New York, were attending a one-week exchange program at colleges in Sichuan in January 2010. [Jiang Hongjing / Xinhua] 

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