Our Kids Don't Need to Learn Chinese
Spanish, however, would benefit them
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2010 11:09 AM CST
In this file photo of Feb. 5, 2008, Barack Obama's name is printed in English and Chinese on a sample ballot at an election precinct during the presidential primary election in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – Nick Kristof and his family speak Chinese, and “let’s be frank,” he writes in the New York Times, “if your child hasn’t started Mandarin classes by third grade, he or she will never amount to anything.” Oh, actually … “just kidding,” continues Kristof, who disagrees with the current parental obsession with Chinese classes for Junior. With the Hispanic population in America surging and Latin America becoming increasingly important economically, Spanish is the language that is truly “essential” to learn.

“Latin America is, finally, getting its act together,” Kristof continues, noting that it weathered the economic crisis more comfortably than most other regions of the world, indicating that Spanish will soon be “a language of business opportunity.” Plus, Spanish is much easier to learn than Chinese, meaning if you start your baby down that road now, he or she might actually “emerge from high school with a very useful command of the language.” Then—and only then—should you turn your attention to Chinese lessons.

 

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