Dear Asia Ednetters,
This is an interesting article on the increase of Mandarin learners around the world:
“As the Chinese economy surges, so does interest in Mandarin. The Chinese government estimates some 40m people study Mandarin outside the country, up from 30m in 2005.”
Economies ebb and flow, even if individual "Ednetters" are confident to gamble on the tide not turning in this political cycle, or before they retire....is all that they are gambling theirs to lose?
12 years ago, Japanese was the thing, since then Indonesian has risen and fallen. We can have no real confidence that what is commercially most likely to be useful today will hold that position when this year's school starters leave school, let alone when they finish uni or reach the seniority to deal directly with overseas offices.
We need to provide the languages education our children need today, and equip them to be flexible to accommodate the changes that will necessarily be part of their working lives.
Esperanto as as First Foreign Language seems the prudent choice.