Sweden would become the first European country to introduce Chinese language classes in all schools under a proposal by the country’s education minister, news website The Local reported today.
Teaching students Mandarin would give them a competitive advantage over children from other European countries, who are most often taught French and Spanish as second languages, education minister and Liberal Party leader Jan Bjorklund said.
“Chinese will become more important, from an economic perspective, than French or Spanish,” he said.
“Not everyone in the business world speaks English. Highly qualified businesses are now leaving Europe and moving to China,” he added.
Bjorklund said it would take 10 to 15 years for Sweden to recruit and train enough Mandarin speakers to teach all elementary school students.
Taken from Herald Sun: 06.07.11