The trend of teaching your tyke another language before they’ve even mastered their own is on the rise, and can you guess what language everyone wants their kid to know? At the TEO private nursery in Madrid, Spain, kids as young as three are being taught numbers, fruit, and other basic vocabulary in Mandarin, this article on South China Morning Post reports. I wonder if that comes before, or after nap time?
“Chinese seems to me an essential language in today’s world and the best way to learn it is from an early age. Learning it as an adult seems much more difficult,” says the mother of a TEO nursery student.
The increased numbers of nurseries and other language programs for children are due to in part to both China’s growing recognition as an economic superpower and Spain’s ongoing recession. Parents concerned with their children’s future hope that by teaching them Chinese at such a young age, their job prospects for the future will increase. The Andalusia Ministry said in a statement:
“China is expected to be the leading world power in a few decades. This is driving a boom in the number of people studying it language and culture.”
It is estimated that there are over 30,000 people currently studying Chinese in Spain, and the number continues to rise exponentially as schools like TEO become more of a normality.
And for the über wealthy looking to give their kids that leg-up, hiring a Chinese nanny is another fun option.
By Lauren Holdcroft