With the growing number of adopted Chinese children now living in the United States, more American parents are searching for ways to maintain their children’s connection to China. One popular way of doing this is to enroll their children in Chinese language classes, reports Washington Post.
The increase in Chinese classes is evident throughout the United States. Compared to a decade ago when only 300 middle schools and high schools offered Chinese classes, now more than 1,600 schools offer Chinese as part of their school curriculums, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics. This surge is even more prominent in the private sector, where most Chinese schools are run on a non-profit basis.
In the Washington area alone, there are now more than 30 private Chinese schools offering classes on weekends. “We’ve always believed that language is the key to culture … These classes aren’t just about fluency. They’re about identity," says one of the adoptive parents.
In 2005, the number of Chinese adoptions reached its peak at 7,900 across the United States. In more recent years, however, China has tightened its adoption criteria for foreigners wishing to adopt children from China, and adoptions of Chinese children have plummeted as a result.