Tens of Thousands of US Students Learn Chinese Language and Culture Through the College Board's Chinese Guest Teacher Program

Jan 18, 2011, 13:30 ET from The College Board

Deadline Is Quickly Approaching for Schools and Districts to Apply for a 2011-12 Chinese Guest Teacher

NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Schools and districts interested in jump-starting or expanding Chinese language and culture programs now have the chance to join the more than 600 schools across the nation that have hosted a teacher through the College Board's Chinese Guest Teacher Program. The program provides an experienced language teacher from China for the host school or district for a period of one to three years and offers schools the opportunity to develop Chinese language programs efficiently and affordably. Applications, due February 15, 2011, are available at www.collegeboard.com/guestteacher.

Since the program's inception in 2007, more than 450 teachers from China have been placed in classrooms across the United States. The program arranges for visiting teachers from China to teach in U.S. elementary, middle and high schools, and is a collaboration of the College Board, China's Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL).

"Learning about Chinese culture and studying Chinese with a native speaker enriches the lives of our students," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "It also is an excellent way to promote international exchange and understanding between our countries."

Participation in the Chinese Guest Teacher Program has grown exponentially. The first group of 37 teachers arrived in January 2007; presently there are 173 teachers reaching an estimated 32,000 students at 263 school sites including 70 elementary, 78 middle, 107 high and 8 independent schools, representing 31 states.

Hanban provides the teachers with international transportation and partially subsidizes the guest teachers' salaries to lessen the costs to host schools and districts. The College Board and NCSSFL interview guest teachers individually to assess teaching skills, adaptability and English proficiency, and provide pre-service professional development for the teachers and continued support during the school year. The guest teachers work at host schools for one year and then have the option to stay for up to three years if both the school and teacher are satisfied.

"Having hosted two fantastic guest teachers, I can't speak enough about how they have helped our school and our district move forward in offering Chinese as a language choice," said John Boyd, principal, Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle Public Schools. "Not only do our students get to learn the language from native speakers, they also have the opportunity to be exposed to Chinese culture and history. Our guest teachers have also become valuable members of our community, participating in events and visiting local elementary schools."

The Chinese Guest Teacher Program is one of a number of programs the College Board has launched to help support the growth of Chinese education in U.S. schools, including large scale delegations to China for administrators and professional development opportunities for Chinese teachers. The AP (Advanced Placement) Chinese Language and Culture Course and Exam was also launched in recent years to encourage U.S. students to develop world language skills and global competence. It is the fastest-growing AP program, with 218 percent growth since its inception in 2006.

To facilitate dialogue and coordination in the rapidly growing field of Chinese language education, the College Board and Asia Society have established the National Chinese Language Conference. The 2010 conference brought together U.S. and international leaders with nearly 1,000 participants from across K–16 education. This year's fourth annual conference will be held in San Francisco, in collaboration with the Mandarin Institute at CAIS, April 14–16, 2011.

Chinese is the national language of the more than 1.3 billion inhabitants of China and millions more ethnic Chinese around the globe, and is the most widely spoken first language in the world. As of August 2010, China's economy has surpassed Japan's and become the second-largest economy in the world, behind the U.S. Though more than 200 million Chinese schoolchildren are studying English — often beginning as early as the second grade — experts estimate that only about than 60,000 U.S. students are studying Chinese.

For further information about the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, the National Chinese Language Conference, and other programs from the College Board's Chinese Language and Culture Initiatives, visit www.collegeboard.com/k12chinese.

The College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.

SOURCE The College Board