Students in the Williamson County school district may soon have the opportunity to learn Mandarin as part of their curriculum.
At a board meeting on Monday, the board of education approved bringing in two teachers from China to help the district determine the feasibility of teaching Mandarin as a world language for students in elementary, middle and high school.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Looney said Monday's approval was a necessary step to help Williamson County students get ahead.
"We want our students to be successful moving forward and we think it's a critical skill for our students to have when they walk away from Williamson County schools," he explained.
Williamson County parent John Scannapieco is a Nashville attorney who works with several companies in China.
Scannapieco's travels overseas inspired his children to learn Chinese.
"They started to learn Chinese or were interested in Chinese when I was going to China quite regularly and we had the opportunity to see if they would like it."
For the last four year, Scannapieco's children have attended a weekly lesson.
"The ability to speak the language and be familiar with the language and culture is invaluable," Scannapieco told Nashville's News 2.
The Williamson County program would be facilitated through the Confucius Institute at University of Memphis.
The school district is also exploring the implementation of Spanish into their curriculum.