In Utah parents have their choice of four language immersion programs: Spanish, French, Portuguese and Chinese. I took the shotgun approach and entered my kids in all available lotteries.
But I asked myself, if they win entrance to more than one program, what will I choose? As a journalist I can attest to the importance of knowing Spanish in a country with a growing Hispanic population that is sorely underrepresented by mainstream media. On the other hand, China is of special political and economic importance – and Mandarin is reportedly harder to learn, so the earlier the better.
In the end I am pleased my children are learning Mandarin – much like this mother, a self-described “Texican,” who picked Chinese over Spanish.
Curious how other parents feel? Are they happy with Chinese, or do they have regrets? Is it wise as a policy for Utah invest more in Mandarin programs than in other languages?