Chinese Language Attracts Younger Fans in Small U.S. Town

Xinhua News Agency’s Houston Bureau learned of a primary school in Stafford, Texas, that begins teaching a Chinese language in kindergarten to enthusiastic pupils, and assigned me to do the English version of the story which ran Feb. 10, 2012.  As I only know one word in Chinese — Xinhua — I was suitably impressed with these remarkable children, their teacher and the school administrator who spearheaded the program.

HOUSTON, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — Six-year-old Derrick Hill is eager to learn new words in Chinese during his dual language course at a primary school in Texas state. The Hispanic-origin boy now starts teaching his mom and dad Chinese at home.

Hill is not the only pupil fascinated by the Chinese language at Stafford Primary School, which is the only school in Texas offering English-Chinese dual language classes to kindergarten and first-grade pupils.

As the world becomes more integrated and China emerges as an economic powerhouse, Stafford Primary, the small town elementary school is ambitious to envisage its pupils a brighter future by teaching them one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

“Bilingual education starts here,” said Kim Vu, 43, principal of Stafford Primary School, who spearheaded the dual language classes in 2010 and implemented it last year.

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