As the teaching of Mandarin becomes more common in American schools, it was bound to attract controversy sooner or later, after all, this is a country that’s still debating whether to teach evolution.
The new curriculum [in Bibb County, Georgia] has had some pushback, to say the least, and the word communism has often been raised. Jane Drennan, a deputy superintendent, told a TV station in Macon, the county seat, that she and other school officials had heard from many parents who said, “I don’t want my kid learning Chinese.”
Admittedly, “I don’t want my kid learning Chinese” is a long way down the crazy scale from “I don’t want my kid taught critical thinking“, but it’s still comes from a mindset that rejects the idea of teaching children valuable skills or exposing them to different cultures.
On the fact that most Chinese language teaching in the US is provided by Confucius Institutes or associated teachers, June Teufel Dreyer, who is a university professor (at Miami University), had this to say:
“You’re told not to discuss the Dalai Lama — or to invite the Dalai Lama to campus. Tibet, Taiwan, China’s military buildup, factional fights inside the Chinese leadership — these are all off limits.”
Because otherwise beginner language learners would absolutely be discussing complicated political issues. After all, Spanish classes use the events surrounding La Guerra Civil Española to focus on grammatical tenses, and nothing helps a student get the hang of French verb conjugation like discussing la Terreur, right?
i can certainly see knowing chinese being useful in more ways than one. First is communications intercepts. We both know that the chicomms are going to be our next big enemies, having people who can speak their language would be very helpful.
Mandarin is a good option. The military will need linguist to interrogate survivors.
To those that… weren’t so impressed:
Is this an indication of why “we” must encourage our Congress to pass a bill (or amendment) making ENGLISH the official language in the USA?First lesson = “Wo touxiang” = “I surrender.” That’s all they’ll need to learn.I don’t care for my children to converse with foreigners. I see no advantage to it because we do not travel, we do not invite foreigners to our property or town, we do not travel or have an interest in traveling. We are happy and well rounded using American English only. [Shanghaiist: amazingly this doesn’t seem to be satire]What a joke and a waste of money. Learn the American basics first then if you have an interest take a foreign language course. But to force it on young minds just to make some adult feel better about themselves is wrong. Gads how does any one live in California any more, I am so glad I don’t and never will.