Review Comparative International Education Essay

Question:

Discuss About The Review Comparative International Education?

Answer:

Introduction

China is not only the most populated nation but it is one of the olde3st nations as well. The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world which dates back at least six thousand years old (Law, 2015). Chinese language started with inscriptions of characters that dates back to the Shang dynasty which proves that written language is almost three thousand years old. In the present day various languages exist in china across the provinces. Modern Chinese language developed between 8th century BC to 3rd century BC. China is an ancient and geographically vast nation. There are numerous languages spoken in china by the people of each province. With time each region of china has developed their own language. The most commonly spoken language in china is mandarin which is spoken by 70% of the Chinese population (Jin & Dervin, 2017). The primary dialects of Chinese languages are Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Min, Xiang and Gan. Varieties of mandarin is spoken in Beijing and in most part of northern and western China. and is the official language of china. The most common language in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities is Cantonese. Common language of Taiwan is mandarin, Hakka and Taiwanese. All varieties of Chinese languages comes from the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (Lo & Pan, 2016). Mandarin is the official language of china and it is the most common language in the world. It is also one of the official languages of Singapore and Taiwan along with mainland china.

Definition

Mandarin language is the official language of China which is most widely spoken and recognized. It is one of the five primary regional languages of China from the northern province of Yunnan to the southwest provinces of china. Due to china’s large set of spoken languages people from different provinces find it difficult to interact between them. Mandarin is the standard language of china but it is nobody’s native language. However, it is a common language that is understood by most people and used for communication. Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect however it is not same as that (Lo & Pan, 2018). Mandarin is spoken by over 800 million people worldwide more than any other languages. Standard mandarin language is one of the six official languages in the United Nations along with English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian. Mandarin is the largest of the ten Chinese dialects and is spoken by over 70 percent of all Chinese speakers from Yunnun to Xinjiang to Heilongjiang.

After the decline of the northern Song (959-1126) and during the rule of Jin (1115-1234) and Yuan dynasties in north china, a common speech developed from the dialect of the people of northern china plain which was referred as old mandarin. Mandarin was the language chosen as the national language of china due to various reasons. Mandarin was the language that is spoken most in the capital. It is spoken in large districts of Manchuria, Yunnan, Sichuan and Gansu provinces. Mandarin language mostly has four tones. The capital of china Beijing has a major population of mandarin speakers due to which this dialect has become influential. Varieties of mandarin have been served as national lingua franca since 14th century (Robertson, 2006). In the beginning of 20th century, the Beijing dialect was chosen as the national language. In everyday English mandarin is called the standard Chinese. It is the official language of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is the De Facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is used in media and education all over china except Macau and Hong Kong which uses Cantonese language.

Relationship with globalization and rise of china

China is not new to the trends of globalization. From the olden days when china flourished in trade and commerce through the Silk Road. China is today one of the key players in the globalization process. China is making a tremendous progress in economic and social aspects in the recent decades. The economy of china is well integrated with the global economy. It is the largest manufacturer and largest exporter. Presently china is the second largest economy in the world and is expected to be the largest by 2030 (Hooper & Batalova, 2015). In this global upgradation of china, the global and cultural diffusion too holds an equally important place. The spread of English language is a vehicle for modernization in the present world. The mandarin language has criticized the dominance of English resulting in the suppression of other languages across the globe. The government of china is taking strict measures in promoting mandarin worldwide (Ruan, Zhang & Leung, 2015). A global language is spoken and backed by a super power. China is moving rapidly on becoming a super power in every field like science, technology, medicine and military. The Chinese government is taking help from the Confucius institute as a vehicle to promote the language to the world. This is called soft power.

In order to succeed in china’s soft power the promotion of mandarin is vital. To promote china’s soft power, the promotion of Chinese language has been identified as an important source. The ministry of culture of china treats it with significance to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship of china with other countries and to strengthen the influence of china in the international community (Hayhoe, 2017). China’s position as a super power would not be complete without the global promotion of mandarin language. In 1987, china established the National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOCFL) that includes various activities like cultural tours and exchange, support system for foreign teacher of Chinese and a multiple language support for teaching. NOCFL is a nonprofit and non-government organization dedicated to the purpose of development of the Chinese language and teaching resources availability across the globe, meeting the demands of the worldwide Chinese learners and contributing to harmony and diversity.

Immigration of Chinese overseas workers

Chinese immigrants in United States constitute the second largest foreign born group after Mexicans and Indians. Most Chinese immigration occurred first in mid-1800 and then in late 1970s. their population has grown six times since then touching 2.3 million mark in 2016 constituting 5percent of the overall 44 million immigrant population (Gil, 2018).

Chinese language including mandarin and Cantonese are the third largest speaking language in the united states which is mostly spoken by American Chinese population and by immigrants or the descendants of immigrants in united states. Over 2 million Americans speak Chinese languages due to immigration from china. According to reports of 2000 US census Cantonese was spoken by 58.62% of residents in California and 16.19% residents in New York (Flew, 2018). In New York city, standard mandarin is spoken by ten percent of Chinese speakers. And it is used as a secondary dialect. Chinese American kids are brought up learning English but some families teach their children Chinese due to various reasons like the preservation of their culture, to identify with their ancestors, for the sake of easy communication with families and so on. Cantonese is the most widely spoken Chinese language among the Chinese immigrants worldwide. A survey of 2006 found that three percent of foreign language enrollment in United States studied Chinese. Most of them teach simplified standard mandarin Chinese. Studies show that in United States, 40 percent of Chinese speakers reside in California (Shambaugh, 2015).

Cantonese is the dialect of southern china which dominated large areas of north America for decades however recently it is being replaced by mandarin, which is the lingua franca of Chinese immigrants. Many older generations who grew up speaking Cantonese, are suffering from isolation due to this and are forced to learn mandarin. Mandarin and Cantonese though are similarly written are pronounced in different ways. Mandarin is also getting into the homes of United States with the help of music and movies.

Technical and technology advancement

Chinese writing developed in a different way from Latin language. Chinese characters use concepts and not sound. In the beginning, Chinese characters were graphs of objects like sun moon, however with the development of human race, writing system became more and more complex. There is no direct connection between Chinese written and spoken language which is why many people find it hard to master the language. From the 19th century onwards people begin to develop design phonetic system for Chinese written language. Various coding systems had been tried like Arabic alphabet (Chu, Kang & Huang, 2015). The original standard mandarin Romanization was developed by missionaries from the west. Around fifty years back the standard mandarin Romanization system; the Chinese phonetic alphabet (pinyin) became the phonetic system of china.

With the help of pinyin mandarin Chinese is transliterated to 25 European characters. The pronunciation of all these letters is similar to the pronunciation of Chinese counterparts. Chinese syllables consist of three elements: final sound, initial sound and tone. The initial sound is the consonants and the final sound contains at least one vowel.

As a phonetic system, Chinese phonetic use 25 Latin characters. Chinese phonetic alphabet (pinyin) uses four tones of mandarin that are essential in correct pronunciation. Chinese phonetic alphabet facilitates in the learning of the language. With its help, illiterates and phonetics can learn the language. China being a huge country, the spoken language greatly vary though the written language is same. People speaking one dialect cannot clearly understand the other dialects. This creates a lot of problem in the country. With the help of Pinyin people can understand how a character should be pronounced. Chinese phonetic alphabets provide an index for the Chinese characters. Chinese phonetic system made Chinese typewriting easy.

Trends in widespread of language Popularity in using Mandarin over the world

The growing popularity of mandarin worldwide is due to several factors. China’s ascendency in the global market as the second largest economy is a primary factor. The Beijing Olympic of 2008 gave a boost to tourism in china and increased the interest in mandarin (Christian, 2016). The government and social organizations are leaving no stones unturned in encouraging people to learn chines. The Chinese government is assisting in this by funding the salaries of Chinese teachers thorough the Chinese language council international program known as Confucius institutes.

The world leaders’ fondness for learning the language has further enhanced its status. Barrack Obama’s daughter Sasha is learning the language as well. Mark Zuckerburg’s speech in mandarin at a conference in china has made the language further popular. In America there are Chinese programs in 550 elementary schools. According to some American students it is important to learn mandarin because of the global position of china in the present world. In Australia mandarin is introduced in the curriculum. The former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was very fluent in mandarin and this resulted in a growing popularity of mandarin in Australia. Many study mandarin to know about the ancient heritage of china. Many people are interested in the history and learning a language is fascinating for them as it can open multiple doors for them. With china gradually rising the power structure the worldwide trend of learning Chinese language is growing.

Opportunities in using mandarin as an international language

British council conducted a survey recently which revealed the demand of mandarin is rising rapidly. British parents feel learning Chinese languages can be of tremendous importance to their children’s career. Learning this language gives a lot of advantages and opportunities in the business world and the job market in the international world because the influence of china in the international market is growing rapidly (Chan, 2018). Statistics show in United States number of primary and middle school students learning Chinese has doubled between 2009 and 2015. The number of French students learning Chinese has quadrupled in the last ten years. As per reports, the number of Chinese learners around the world has gone up from 30 million in 2004 to 100 million.

China’s growing economy is now the second largest in the world and is the fastest growing economy in the world. Its influence in global economy, politics, is rapidly growing. China is one of the largest exporters in the world. This massive importance of china in the present world is making Chinese languages tremendously important (Brinton, Kagan & Bauckus,). World political leaders like Kevin Rudd’s fluency in the language are further making it important to learn. CEO of apple Steve jobs had appreciated the Chinese technology for its speed and flexibility. Knowledge in mandarin can give an extra edge in the career prospects in international market. Speaking mandarin can open up multiple opportunities as a translator and a teacher in international schools where learning mandarin is gaining popularity. Knowing mandarin can give job security. Forbes reported that China boasts of 35% of the luxury products consumers in the world.

Conclusion

From the above discussion it is clearly understood how the importance of Chinese languages is growing worldwide as a language. From a poverty stricken third world country china was few decades back, today it is the second largest country economy in the world and it is influencing every aspect of world economy (Benton & Pieke, 2016).). From world politics to world economics the influence of china is felt by every other super power in the world. In this situation, the importance of Chinese languages especially mandarin since it is the most popular language in china, is unavoidable. The fact that parents of children in first world countries are making their children learn mandarin instead of Spanish and French which used to be the choice of students until few years back make it evident how important it has become. World’s most popular leaders from barrack Obama to Kevin Rudd to mark zuckerburg, mandarin is being used and appreciated by all. The rising position of the language as an international language is resulting in its immense popularity and demand.

Recommendation

Mandarin is already enjoying its premier position as a language that is growing in popularity and demand. The Chinese government must put considerable effort in making the language go global. The procedure for foreigners to learn the language must be made easy. Soft power campaigns abroad must be organized. China’s growing scholarship programs are a further reason that is motivating children across the globe to learn the new language. The Chinese government can provide subsidies and benefits to the students to are willing to learn mandarin. The government can tie up with schools and universities of big nations like US, UK, Australia and so on to make the language more popular among students. Career opportunities and prospects in international business world should be looked into so that students abroad are further interested in learning the language. International students should be encouraged to take up mandarin as a second language. These students should be provided with sufficient career opportunities as well. The Chinese teachers who are teaching in foreign schools and universities should be provided with sufficient benefits and advantages. Financial aids should be provided to the needy students who want to study mandarin. Creating facilities for further research and development of the language worldwide is a vital for the constant growth and development of the language.

References

Benton, G., & Pieke, F. N. (Eds.). (2016). The Chinese in Europe. Springer.

Brinton, D. M., Kagan, O., & Bauckus, S. (Eds.). (2017). Heritage language education: A new field emerging. Routledge.

Chan, J. Y. H. (2018). Attitudes and identities in learning English and Chinese as a lingua franca: a bilingual learners’ perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-17.

Christian, D. (2016). Dual language education: Current research perspectives.

Chu, Y. H., Kang, L., & Huang, M. H. (2015). How East Asians view the rise of China. Journal of Contemporary China, 24(93), 398-420.

Flew, T. (2018). The New International Division of Cultural Labor, Global Media Studies, and the Cultural Rise of China. In Willing Collaborators: Foreign Partners in Chinese Media(pp. 21-34). Rowman & Littlefield.

Gil, J. (2018). Multilingualism in the Chinese diaspora worldwide transnational connections and local social realities.

Hayhoe, R. (Ed.). (2017). Contemporary Chinese Education(Vol. 5). Routledge.

Hooper, K., & Batalova, J. (2015). Chinese immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute, 28.

Jin, T., & Dervin, F. (Eds.). (2017). Interculturality in Chinese language education. Springer.

Law, S. (2015). Children learning Chinese as a home language in an English-dominant society. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(6), 735-748.

Lo, J. T. Y., & Pan, S. (2016). Confucius Institutes and China’s soft power: practices and paradoxes. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 46(4), 512-532.

Lo, J. T. Y., & Pan, S. (2018). Reflecting on the Research into China’s Soft Power in International Education with Comparative Perspective: The Case of Confucius Institutes. In Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2017 (pp. 49-57). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Robertson, P. E. (2016). China’s Military and Growing Power. POLITICS.

Ruan, J., Zhang, J., & Leung, C. B. (Eds.). (2015). Chinese language education in the United States (Vol. 14). Springer.

Shambaugh, D. (2015). China's soft-power push. Foreign Aff., 94, 99.

Shambaugh, D. L. (2013). China goes global: The partial power (Vol. 111). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Simmons, R. V. (2017). A History of the Chinese Language.

Wang, D., & Adamson, B. (2015). War and peace: Perceptions of Confucius Institutes in China and USA. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 24(1), 225-234.

Wilkinson, E., & Harvard University/Asia Center. (2016). Chinese history: A new manual. Harvard University Press.

Yang, R. (2015). China's soft power projection in higher education. International Higher Education, (46).

How to cite this essay: