Mandarin Chinese becoming first choice as second language
By Nancy Lofholm
October 22, 2012
More language students are saying adios to the recent stampede to learn Spanish and huan ying — or welcome — to mastering a Chinese dialect now spoken by an estimated 100 million non-Chinese.
More than 60 schools around [Colorado] — ranging from primary-level immersion schools to universities to private language enterprises — are teaching this most widely spoken language in the world. More online classes are popping up. Chinese-language clubs are taking over tables in coffee shops. Chinese tutors are becoming a hot commodity.
The popularity of Mandarin has been driven by several factors: China's ascendancy in the global economy means anyone doing business on an international basis is likely to encounter Mandarin speakers. The spotlight on the 2008 Beijing Olympics increased tourism to China and heightened interest in Mandarin. Also, more Americans are traveling to China to adopt Chinese babies and want to be conversant with their children.
Read the full article at http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21825189/mandarin-chinese-becoming-first-choice-second-language