China is having such a huge influence on the United States that many Americans are struggling to learn the Chinese language in a bid to keep competitive.
"Interest in learning Chinese am
ong American youth and their parents has grown quickly in the past five years," said Vivien Stewart, vice president at the Asia Society. China's quick rise to near-superpower and its effects politically, economically and culturally are driving the American's interest to learn the language, experts say. From kindergartens to high schools, studies by the Asia Society show, there is a "rapid rise" in interest among pupils to study the Chinese language.
"The Chinese rich cultural traditions and blossoming
economy mean that it is now important for all of our students to be better prepared," said Michael Levine, Asia Society's executive director of education. A survey found that 2,400 high students—an unbelievable high number—would be interested in offering the Advanced Placement(AP) courses in Chinese language and culture when the courses become available in 2006.
China, the world's most populous nation, is important to the United States because it is a leading trader, consumer and investor. Its political influence is also rising across the world. It has replaced the United States as the world's largest consumer and could become the second largest economy in the world, after the United States, in the next two to three decades.
Even though the US State Department has described the Chinese language "critical" to national prosperity and security, "the current facilities to support recruitment (招募)of students and teachers as well as the growth of high quality programs is terribly not enough," an Asia Society study says. The Society has set an aim of having at least five percent of American high school students learning Chinese by 2015.
"Millions of Chinese are learning English, but only 24,000 Americans are learning Chinese," said Andrew Corcoran of the San Francisco-based Chinese American International School. The most popular languages after English in US schools at present are Spanish and French while Japanese is the most popular Asian language.
53. The underlined word blossoming (Para. 3) means _________.
A. developed B. developing C. old D. weak
54. Why do more and more Americans begin to learn the Chinese language?
A. To keep competitive. B. To gain advantage in trade.
C. Because they are always interested in it.
be a bridge between the two big countries.
55. What problem is the US faced with when it comes to learning Chinese?
A. Too many Chinese are learning English.
B. Not many people want to learn foreign languages.
C. The language is rather difficult compared with English.
D. A lack in current facilities to support recruitment of students and teachers and programs.
56. What is the best title for this passage?
A. Danger from China
B. Foreign Language Learning
C. The Chinese Language gets More Popular
D. Difficulties in Learning the Chinese Language