Education: A Start in Chinese

The world's most widely spoken language is taught in only about 30 U.S. high schools, and then often by part-time volunteers hired to teach another subject. Last week at Thayer Academy, a well-ivied prep school near Boston, 39 teenagers began the most ambitious program yet for introducing intensive instruction in Mandarin Chinese to high schools, thereby bringing U.S. language instruction closer to cold war realities.

The students, all of whom will be seniors in nearby schools next fall, will live and work in Thayer's "Chinese compound" for nine weeks this summer, and will continue to receive four hours of Chinese instruction a...

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