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- For a more general discussion of Westerners learning Chinese, see Chinese as a foreign language.
In Western countries, a Chinese school is a school established explicitly for the purpose of teaching the Chinese languages and dialects (Mandarin and Cantonese are the most commonly taught) to Americans with Chinese ancestry, Canadians with Chinese ancestry, Americans with Taiwanese ancestry, Canadians with Taiwanese ancestry, Australians with Chinese ancestry and Australians with Taiwanese ancestry.
Besides teaching Chinese language, the schools serve as social centers allowing Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants and their children to meet other Chinese and Taiwanese families. Chinese schools also counter the loss of Chinese culture brought on by cultural assimilation into the local society.
Chinese schools are credited with maintaining the relatively high proportions of children of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants residing in Western countries who are able to read or write Chinese, at least to a limited extent. (Spoken, as opposed to written, Chinese is likely learned as much at home as in a Chinese school.)