A survey performed by the Center for Applied Linguistics has found that the number of US schools offering Chinese language learning is way up:
A Center for Applied Linguistics survey indicates there was a significant increase in Chinese language classes at U.S. schools offering at least one foreign language between 1997 and 2008, The New York Times reported Thursday. During that time period, the percentage of schools offering Chinese increased from 1 percent to 4 percent, the survey found.
These results come at a time when foreign language education in the US is facing cuts across the board. Mandarin is rapidly becoming the language to learn for future business endeavors, given China’s huge industrial expansion and development in recent years.
Having recently returned from China (and having found Mandarin extremely difficult to pick up), I say best of luck to everybody taking up Chinese! Or as the Chinese might say, hao yun qi (好运气)!