Many children in Santa Clarita are already speaking what some believe to be the language of the future – Chinese.
Vice-President Joe Biden visited China today to calm their nerves after Standard & Poor reduced the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+.
China believes they have a right to be concerned since they are the biggest, single foreign creditor to the U.S. with $1.17 in holdings.
Closer to home, Santa Clarita’s Jinghong Li can see the direction the U.S. needs to go and it involves Chinese as the language of the future.
“I think it’s the current and the future. With the way the world is changing. With the way China is inserting itself into everything in world affairs,” Li said.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox.
Li, originally from Xian, the capital of the Shaanxi province in China, is principal of the Santa Clarita Valley Chinese School.
Founded in 2009, Li meant the school to cater to Asian families in the area. That mission has evolved.
“With the current economy and world development China is going to be more and more influential. A lot of parents when they are deciding to choose a foreign language for their kids, Chinese seems to be the number one choice,” Li said.
The SCV Chinese School, located at the SCV International Charter School, currently has about 200 students and has formed a partnership with two local charter schools: The Albert Einstein Academy Charter School and The SCV International Charter School. They have 12 teachers, many of whom Li says have California credentials.
Since they are a non-profit organizations, Li says their teachers are not required to be credentialed. However their goal is to become accredited.
“Hopefully when we are accredited local high schools will recognize our teaching and count that as one of their foreign language requirements,” Li said.
Li believes children who speak Chinese will set themselves apart when it comes time for applying to college.
“Good scores, everybody got good scores these days. It’s important. But in lot of cases they want to see what specialties you have. Do you have leadership? Do you have something other kids don’t have? Do you know the language of the future that the changing world requires?,” said Li.
Li says China might not be a friend of the U.S. in the future and future generation will need to know how to deal with the Chinese. The way to understanding the Chinese is by learning the language and culture.
“We want the kids to realize China is a very complex system. They have a political system which is very, very dangerous and they have a culture that is very rich. The combination of it will influence the future of the world. So that’s why they need to learn.
Classes begin this Sunday.
For more information on the SCV Chinese School, click here.