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The United States is swapping high-school teachers with the People's Republic of China as part of a program that its organizers say is the first of its kind.

afs International/Intercultural Programs (formerly the American Field Service), an organization that

sponsors intercultural exchange programs for students in 69 countries, claims it is the first nongovernmental organization to negotiate an exchange for secondary teachers with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The program has brought 52 Chinese secondary teachers of English to the United States over the past three years, but the first four American teachers to take part in the exchange arrived in China in February, according to Lynn M. Sanborne, a spokesman for afs

The American teachers, who will remain in China for six months, are studying the Chinese language and culture, and teaching English to Chinese teachers, Ms. Sanborne said.

The program is also unprecedented, according to the afs, because for the first time educators from the Chinese mainland are teaching in American high schools and living with families during their stay. Currently, 28 Chinese teachers are in this country as part of the exchange. China has agreed to expand the program by allowing summer exchanges of high-school teachers, perhaps as early as 1986, Ms. Sanborne said.

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