Mandatory Mandarin lessons for Panama kids?If you are Singaporean Chinese and you don't speak fluent Mandarin, you better start working on it!
PANAMA CITY - LEARNING Mandarin could soon be compulsory for schoolchildren in Panama, in a bid to prepare the Spanish-speaking nation for China's growing importance as a trading partner.
Panama's National Assembly will next week debate a Bill to make Mandarin lessons obligatory in all government-run primary schools in the trade-dependent nation.
Mandarin is the official language of both China and Taiwan, and though Panama has no diplomatic relations with Beijing, China has major interests in its transport and shipping sectors.
Congressman Arturo Arauz, who drafted the proposal, said it would help prepare Panama for a 'new linguistic order' prompted by spectacular economic growth in China.
'We cannot ignore that a lot of our trade is with Asia,' he said. 'In 20 years' time, the world is going to be a very different place.'
Under the proposal, children aged between six and 11 would learn Mandarin for a trial period of 10 years.
English would continue to be taught in schools as a second language.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Even Central Americans Want to Learn Mandarin
I previously blogged about the increasing importance of the Mandarin language, due to China's economic ascension. Now, even the people of Panama are considering making it compulsory for their children to learn Mandarin as a 3rd language.