Western families move to China to learn Mandarin

Featured - June 27th, 2012
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Wall Street Journal reports that more Western families are moving to China so that their kids can learn Mandarin, a trend that perhaps highlights China’s rise as a global influence.

Parents want their children to be completely immersed in the language, wrapping up their jobs and houses back home for a year or more to “learn Chinese and experience China”.

With a growing economy of 1.3 billion people, who are mostly non-English speakers, parents want their children to learn Mandarin instead. They opt for Mandarin-immersion programs instead of the usual after-school classes. Some parents are even hiring Chinese-speaking nannies so that their children can practice the language at home.

Michael Roemer, who lived in China for a year so that his children can learn the language, told the Wall Street Journal that “Speaking Mandarin is important” and is “good for the brain”.

According to the Journal, parents like Roemer are not going great lengths just to stimulate their children’s brain. People who can speak one or more different languages, such as Mandarin, which is one of the most difficult to learn, are an asset for any company who wants to expand its reach internationally, especially if it wants to tap the world’s second largest economy.