Learning a foreign language can open up a whole new world for students and help prepare them for their future careers.  Some schools are beginning to introduce foreign language learning to elementary students.

In a recent segment of the CBS Evening News, reporter, Mark Strassman shared how a failing Macon, Georgia school district is mandating Mandarin language lessons in order to stave off a staggering fifty percent failure to graduate rate. Within three years, all 25,000 students in Bibb County will be learning Mandarin. In fact, third graders at Sonny Carter Elementary School have already begun.

foreign languageStudents are taught Mandarin three days a week by one of 25 native Chinese teachers who came to Macon to help overhaul student performance. The new superintendent of Bibb County Schools, Romain Dallemand, refers to Mandarin as “one piece of the Macon Miracle.” He is so bullish on the miracle, the district is investing $2.76 million to bring forth Mandarin and other sweeping change to the classroom.

So, what do you think? Can Mandarin help save the failing school district?

Before you answer, let’s take a look at some surprising research. Some of the benefits of teaching children foreign languages include:

Higher test scores: Research shows students who have studied a foreign language score on average 140 points higher on standardized tests when it comes to Critical Reading and Writing. For Math, students score on average 150 points higher.

CONTINUE READING What Are The Benefits Of Teaching Children Foreign Languages?

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