Kingston High School likely to offer Mandarin Chinese instruction in 2012-13
KINGSTON, N.Y. — School district Superintendent Paul Padalino anticipates Kingston High School will start offering Mandarin Chinese among its language classes in 2012-13 and said guidance counselors have been gauging student interest in it.
The high school currently offers classes in French, German and Spanish, and the school board in February began discussing the addition of Mandarin.
Marystephanie Corsones, the school district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, continues to investigate the district’s options for teaching Mandarin, Padalino said, including relatively inexpensive methods like online courses or distance learning.
Padalino said the greatest expense associated with offering any new program is the instructor and that finding people to teach Mandarin can be difficult.
Online courses or distance learning would allow the district to pool its resources with other school districts through Ulster BOCES and get state aid designed to encourage sharing, the superintendent explained.
Padalino said the district probably will start with a basic Mandarin course for 2012-13 and see how interested students are before attempting to expand offerings to more advanced courses.
Teaching Mandarin to interested students could provide a marketable skill to students in a changing global marketplace, the superintendent said.
The Bridge Language Center says Mandarin “is an open door to a huge job market in all of the countries where Mandarin is the language of commerce, like mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore.”
Sara Hsu, an assistant professor of economics at SUNY New Paltz and an expert in the Chinese economy, has said China is expected to be “a major influence in the world economy” for at least the next 50 years and that any school curriculum would benefit from offering Mandarin if it is not too costly.
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