For members of the American press corps in Beijing, the 1980's was a period of testing the boundaries, challenging the restrictions on news coverage at the heart of the system, and exploring parts of Chinese society that had long been off-limits. Assignment China: the 1980s tells their story.
Chinese language study is rising fast
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By Clayton Dube
ON AN AVERAGE DAY in the United States, over 51,582 students in American colleges and universities study Chinese. The figure comes from a 2006 survey by the Modern Language Association of 2,795 institutions, about two-thirds of all institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Chinese is the seventh most popular language other than English. More popular are Spanish (822,985), French (206,426), German (94,264), American Sign Language (78,829), Italian (78,368), and Japanese (66,605). Chinese enrollments, however, are rising. In 2002, the MLA found 34,153 students studying the langauge at the colleges and universities it surveyed. Chinese enrollments rose 51% from 2002 to 2006. Only Arabic enrollments had risen faster during the period, some 126%, to 23,974.
Most attribute the great rise in Chinese enrollments to China’s rising economic strength and overall prominence. In earlier decades, Japanese enrollments rose along with interest in Japan’s economic growth and its culture. In 1960, Chinese enrollments were slightly higher than Japanese ones from 1960 to 1980. With Japan’s 1980s economic bubble, however, enrollment in Japanese raced ahead. In 1986, 23,454 were studying Japanese compared to 16,891 in Chinese language courses.
In addition to pursuing Chinese language study in U.S. institutions, many Americans are heading to China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan to study. In 2006, 11,064 students went to China, an increase of 25% over 2005. 1,059 went to Hong Kong, an increase of 16% and 467 went to Taiwan, an increase of 27%. A majority of these students engage in language study.
The increase in American college students heading to China has been steady, except for two years in the early part of this decade. First, the 9/11 attack in 2001 dampened all overseas enrollment and then the SARS outbreak in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan caused many schools to close programs and bring students home.
Furman, Nelly, Goldberg, David, and Lusin, Natalia. “Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2006,” Modern Language Association, Nov. 13, 2007.
Open Doors 2008. Institute for International Education, Nov. 17, 2008.
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Young people volunteer to "Go West" | Dilemmas of Transnational Migration among Chinese Only-Children | The Chinese Educational Mission to the United States | Chinese language study is rising fast
Brett Sheehan discusses his new book, which studies the evolution of Chinese capitalism chronicling the fortunes of the Song family of North China under five successive authoritarian governments.
This symposium features leading professors from Fudan University’s School of Journalism. All are also researchers at the school’s Information and Communication Studies Center (复旦大学信息与传播研究中心). They’ll be discussing Shanghai’s past and present, interaction between state and society, and the varying roles of communication in the city’s governance and identity.
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism presents this panel as part of the USC Global Conference 2015 in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai Grand Hyatt. Please join Dean Ernest J. Wilson III for a converstion with John Zhao from Hony Capital, Li Ruigang from China Media Capital and Bob Simonds from STX Entertainment. For USC Global Conference Attendees only.