The first-graders in Grace Yuan's class in Fairfax County, Va., are playing "Jeopardy," eagerly responding to clues about animals and their habitats, diet, and movements.

Nothing special for a group of 7-year-olds, you say? Well, look again. These clues are in Chinese.


One girl, a bit uncertain, pondered the Chinese characters and pictures of animals. "Believe in yourself, Rachel," a classmate yelled. Applause rang out when she gave the correct response.

The class is a result of the National Security Language Initiative, introduced by President Bush in 2006 to teach students Chinese and other foreign languages considered critical to the nation's future security.



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