Issue: 2008: Vol. 7, No. 1, Articles

Chinese on the Chattahoochee: K-12 Chinese Language Programs Taking Off in Georgia

Article Author(s)

Krista A. Forsgren

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Krista Forsgren now works through her own non-profit organization - Windows on Asia (www.windowsonasia.org). She has worked with approximately fifteen schools in Georgia, and many more nationwide, to plan for, implement, and foster Chinese language and culture programs. 
2008: Vol. 7, No. 1, Articles
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In 2000, a meeting at a prominent Atlanta school about the possibility of starting a Chinese language program concluded with a question about the need to study “Red China.” Additional questions followed, about the likely interest of students – let alone parents – in courses in Chinese. Little could the participants imagine how quickly things would change.

In the months immediately following, a number of globally minded schools in Atlanta began the process of teaching Chinese, joining the one Georgia school with a long-running high school Chinese program – North Atlanta High School. Others quickly followed, and by 2008, the aforementioned school had jumped on the bandwagon as well. Seemingly overnight, nationwide demand has made Mandarin Chinese one of the “hottest” languages for K-12 schools to teach.