Morton students are turning eastward in their language studies as they take on a new elective offered in the district: Mandarin.
More than 100 students at Morton West and the Morton Freshman Center are taking the first classes in the Chinese language that will result in the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam offered during the students’ senior year.
To fit in the additional class, students enrolled will start their day earlier than other Mustangs. They will also be using a new textbook, Integrated Chinese, and an upgraded web application to practice all facets of learning a new language. Because Mandarin does not use an alphabet like the Indo-European languages, the teacher will help them to understand the meaning of the Chinese characters to improve their ability to read and write.
In addition to learning Mandarin, students will also focus on the history and culture of China, home to more than 1.3 billion people.
Globally, Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language, with more than 1 billion native and non-native speakers, followed by English with 983 million speakers. As the economy continues to become more global, languages such as Mandarin and Arabic, continue to become more important for U.S. students to learn.