American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages stated that Chinese language is rapidly becoming one of the most learned languages in the world. As a result the demand for learning Chinese as second language has tripled over the years.
As it is a Universal fact, that kids pick up things quickly whether it is learning a new language or learning to play a new instrument, parents are emphasizing that Chinese as a medium of Language learning should be introduced in schools as early as possible.
Madeline Spring, Director of Confucius Institute at the US Arizona State University shares this belief, saying that she really wants to not only building a Confucius Institute at university level, but also a pipeline for students.
"We are really trying to build a pipeline of students, so we want students to start as early as we can get them. And we want them to continue improving, so we don't want them just continuing to take Chinese, we want them to continuing to learn to perform in Chinese. And I think that's a key we want to think about when we think about articulation."
Moreover Madeline Spring also highlighted that the Confucius Institute provides scholarship programs to kids. They have a Collegiate Scholars Program where the high school kids can avail the benefits of college credit for the classes conducted at the institute.
Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions, usually jointly established by universities of host country-China and a foreign college, serve as a platform to promote Chinese language and culture worldwide.
Donna Wiseman, Director of Confucius Institute at US University of Maryland, the Washington D.C area, states that their 5 Confucius Classrooms have already imparted lessons in Chinese language to more than 1000 pre-k to 12th grade school students.
Moreover, the institute recently organized a trip to China for the school students of Paint Branch elementary school, located in the neighborhood of US University of Maryland in order to awaken the child’s interest and curiosity level regarding Chinese Language along with their culture.
"When you talk to them after they return, you can see that a light has been turned on with them that they will never ever think about international travel of being a part of Chinese language and culture is something that they could achieve. And it's a very fulfilling activity to sit and listen to them describe how they feel about travel after their trip in China."