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Podcast: How to Get Ahead in This Economy? Learn Mandarin

A child at PS 20 in the dual language Mandarin English program

A child at PS 20 in the dual language Mandarin English program. (Photo: Lan Trinh)

If you want to get ahead in this globally competitive economy, learn Mandarin. That’s the message many kids are now getting from their parents.  In New York, parents are demanding Chinese language instruction for their kids, especially dual-language programs where English and Mandarin exist side-by-side.

With budget cuts in education, some schools have had to slash their foreign language programs. Yet the number of U.S. schools, both private and public, offering Mandarin classes has exploded in the past decade, from 300 to 1,600. How are they doing it?

Less than two years ago, Hanban, the educational arm of the Chinese government began funding Mandarin programs in America. But why are they doing it? Who benefits from it?

Lan Trinh visited several New York City schools that offer Mandarin programs, and talked to the Asia Society about their collaboration with Hanban. She joins Fi2W Executive Producer John Rudolph to talk about this trend in the latest Fi2W podcast.

Listen to the podcast

Subscribe to the Fi2W podcast using iTunes or Podbean ¦ Download this episode 

Watch Lan Trinh’s video about the PS 20 dual language program

Fi2W podcasts are supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Sirus Fund, and are produced in association with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and CUNY-TV.

AboutFeet in Two Worlds
Feet in Two Worlds brings the work of immigrant and ethnic media journalists from communities across the U.S. to public radio and the web. Since 2005, this award-winning project has expanded the diversity of voices and stories on public radio by presenting the work of journalists representing a broad spectrum of immigrant communities including Arab, Bosnian, Brazilian, Chinese, Haitian, Indian, Irish, Latin American, Pakistani, Polish, and Russian immigrants. Feet in Two Worlds reporters appear on nationally-distributed public radio programs including PRI’s The World, Studio 360, and The Takeaway, American Public Media’s Marketplace and NPR’s Latino USA, as well as on public radio stations WNYC, New York Public Radio, and WDET in Detroit.