Students at each of Rogers' high schools are learning to draw Chinese characters for the first time this year, but they are also learning about the country's culture.
Teacher Xiaomin Sun says it's impossible to truly understand a language if you don't know about the people who speak it, and Student Kesia Ferris says it makes the class even more interesting
"It's amazing to hear about the experiences he's had," she says. "You learn the culture and how China works and it helps you understand the people and the language better."
Ferris wants to be an Asian linguist, and was thrilled to find out her school was adding the course.
"It's a good opportunity, especially for my career choice," she says. "I'm applying to go to China or Korea next year."
Ferris might have some competition in a few years. Larson's Language Center started a new set of Mandarin classes this week, and the youngest student is just two years old. Owner Lorena Larson says it helps to teach kids languages at a young age.
"She started at home with English, here with Spanish and now she's learning a third language," Larson says. "They pick up everything quick and they don't think like adults. We are thinking always why? How come? They just listen repeat, make connections and say it."
The preschool's Spanish programs are full, and they decided to expand their Chinese.
"We started several years ago with private lessons," Larson says. "We saw more calls about Chinese we decided it was a great moment since we know several businesses in the area are opening their business in China."
Ferris hopes to be a part of that business after graduation.
"China is probably the worlds greatest contender in the global market," she says. "The three main languages will be Chinese English and Spanish, so I think it would be a good idea to learn those languages."