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China, U.S. enhance education cooperation

Updated: 2009-11-28 09:52:40

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Four teachers from China will provide Chinese language and culture classes at five schools in Los Angeles as part of an education cooperation program, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) said this is the result of a partnership between the LAUSD and the College Board and Hanban (formerly the Office of Chinese Language Council International).

Over the next two years, the teachers will provide more students with greater accessibility to Mandarin Chinese at the elementary, middle and high school levels, said the LAUSD.

"In a city as diverse as Los Angeles, it#s important that we expand our language offerings to all children," said David L. Brewer III, superintendent of the LAUSD.

"This is not to discount the importance of learning Spanish or French, but we must expand our concept of languages which go hand-in-hand with being college prepared and career ready. That means preparing students to acquire the language skills they will need to pursue careers in a competitive and global market and to communicate with their neighbors who may be across the oceans or around the world."

The four Chinese teachers have been assigned to teach at schools in South Central and East Los Angeles. Two teachers will occupy classrooms at Coliseum Elementary School, Audubon Middle School and Dorsey High School in South Central Los Angeles. The other two instructors will teach classes at City Terrace and Gateselementary school in East Los Angeles.

"A world class education involves multiple languages," said Dr.Liza Scruggs, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Support Services of LAUSD. "Foreign language is not foreign. There are more than 200 million children in China studying English, which is required learning, but approximately 24,000-50,000 students in the United States are studying Chinese."

In June, LAUSD entered into a memorandum of understanding with the College Board to place approximately 100 teachers from China in U.S. schools during the 2007-2009 school years to enhance Chinese language and culture education in the United States through the Chinese Guest Teacher program.

District officials say the presence of the Chinese teachers will increase student participation in the "E" requirement which requires high school students to complete two years (three years recommended) of a language other than English to meet admission requirements for first-time freshmen to both the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems.

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