Sweden recently made the decision to significantly upgrade Chinese to a higher status in it’s schools, planning to put it on par with French, German, and Spanish as a foreign language taught in classrooms, according to the Epoch Times.
Neighboring Scandinavian countries Norway and Denmark also offer Chinese in some schools, but haven’t elevated its status in the same way Sweden has.
The aim of the new policy is to make Sweden more internationally competitive by teaching the next generation of Swedes Mandarin Chinese, Swedish Minister for Education Jan Björklund said at a Dec. 3 press conference.
Sweden currently has very few competent Chinese teachers and there is no national curriculum for Chinese yet, so it may take several years before the language becomes widely established in public schools.
“My estimate is that it will take 10–15 years for Chinese to become broadly available in [Swedish] Schools,” Björklund said.
We think this decision by Sweden’s government is a sign of the growing importance and popularity of learning Chinese, and yet another reason why Chinese Fridge is a great tool for teaching Chinese for kids to learn in a fun way, especially where the language is not widely accessible as a subject in school. We believe kids everywhere around the world who are interested in Chinese should be able learn the language, even if their school system cannot or otherwise does not provide the necessary resources.