I’m wondering how the other kids who were children of the Immigration Act of 1965. As far as I can tell, the “model” for what we were suppose to do was what the massive burst of Eastern European immigration did, (i.e. forget were you came from, and become white). The trouble with this is globalization.
When I was an undergrad, the reason for studying Mandarin Chinese was “to get in touch with your roots.” The problem with nostalgia is that it isn’t that strong of a motivator. (And ironically, it isn’t historically accurate, none of my great-grandparents could likely speak Mandarin well.) The reason that I think will drive my kids to learn Mandarin is that it will help them get jobs. Learning how to speak multiple languages gives you many more options for employment. Learning Mandarin is not about the past. It’s about the future. This is very different in 2006 than in 1991.