Mandarin Ab Initio

Why Study Mandarin Chinese?

Cindy Tracy

Top twelve reasons (copied from the website of the Waddell Elementary School):

Top Twelve Reasons To Learn Chinese

  1. China has surpassed Japan as the second largest economy in the world. Goldman Sachs chief economist, Jim O’Neill, notes that the 1.3 billion people in China will overtake the U.S.’s $14 trillion economy by 2027. [Dated October, 2010]
  2. China is one of America's largest trading partners.
  3. China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.4 billion people. One out of five people in the world is Chinese.
  4. Mandarin is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  5. Chinese is quickly becoming the most demanded second language in the world, and knowledge of Chinese become nearly indispensable for business professionals in the next twenty years. 
  6. Mandarin is spoken by MORE THAN one billion people. It is the #1 spoken language in the world.  
  7. Knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.
  8. Learning Chinese in an immersion setting at early age improves your brainpower in math and logical reasoning.
  9. Students develop an appreciation for Chinese culture and history (and at Smith other cultures, too) by studying Chinese.
  10. When the student knows 1000 commonly used Chinese characters, he/she will recognize and understand 90% of the characters in Chinese newspapers.
  11. At the US-China Educational Summit on April 2010, after a presentation by Principal Ynez Olzhausen, North Carolina’s State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson commented,  "What Smith is doing (in Chinese Immersion) is a pot of excellencies in the state of North Carolina."  (Please note that Waddell Language Academy was formerly Smith Academy of International Languages.)
  12. Chinese is an extremely colorful and expressive language. Speaking it can seem almost as much as an art as it is ability. The tonal aspect as well as the daunting writing system can seem insurmountable, which is why you come to Waddell Language, as it provides the powerful immersion opportunity for kids learn Chinese in a natural and most effective way.

Why am I interested in Mandarin Chinese. We have just started importing a fantastic series of Mandarin Readers from New Zealand - The Magic Story Box. There are over 160 readers in over 7 levels of difficulty - available in Simplified or Traditional Chinese. The interactive books online read the book aloud. You can record and play back your own voice, comparing it to the native speakers. We are offering a limited number of FREE licenses to schools who qualify - email me at to find out how!

To accompany the readers, there are reproducible activity books, big books and flashcards.

Magic Story Box Chinese Readers

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