Delaware is one of just four states joining the effort to teach students to understand Chinese on a statewide basis.
The Delaware Department of Education joins their counterparts in Utah, South Carolina and Oklahoma in a consortium designed to create a pathway for students to become proficient in Chinese.
“We want students to be ready for a new world of international jobs that will open to them,” said Governor Jack Markell. “That means mastering world languages so they can work with, and compete effectively against, workers around the world.” Markell has been focused on increasing Chinese language study in Delaware’s schools and even made mention of the effort in his State of the State Address in 2011.
The consortium is based at Bringham Young University’s Chinese Flagship Center and funded by a $1-million grant from the Department of Defense’s National Security Education Program. The group will develop plans that will be implemented by states and school districts which are taking part in the consortium.
Delaware Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery said the partnership will help prepare students to compete in the global marketplace. “Delaware will have access to curriculum and assessments provided by the consortium and our students will have the opportunity to continue their Chinese language study at any of the Flagship universities.” Those Flagship colleges include Bringham Young, Arizona State, Hunter College, and the University of Mississippi.
WHYY’s First looked at the effort to expand Chinese language education last year. Click the video below to see that report.