Monday, January 02, 2006
-"Oil drilling alters landscape, life for tiny Inupiat village" The front page of the Seattle Times featured this great story how oil money from drilling has seriously affected life in a small Native Alaskan village. While plenty of money has been brought to the people there, a host of problems have come along with it.
-"Chinese language study catching on in U.S. classrooms" I make fun of whOregon and Portland a lot, but they do have one thing better than Seattle - a $700k grant from the government to develop a full-scale Mandarin Chinese language program, starting from kindergarten and continuing to the end of high school.
With the large population of Chinese Americans on the West Coast, along with the many business ties to Asia, you'd think Chinese as a language would be more widespread - but even nationwide, the article points out that the number of students studying Chinese is only 24,000 compared to over 3 million students who study Spanish. While I do think Spanish is important, the next two most popular languages in schools, French and German, are of rather questionable value to both to our country's economic and political future. It's going to be the Pacific Century, right?
Interesting... I remember in my high school days, they tried starting Cantonese classes. I think they only went up to "Cantonese 2" though because of the lack of resources. There were only 2 people in the entire district that could fluently speak both English and Cantonese. But I guess teaching it is a whole different game as well.
jerm- word up.
ironically, despite the large population of Chinese-speaking Chinese Americans in the US, supposedly one of the biggest problems for starting more Chinese language programs is finding Nativ-speaking Chinese teachers...
oh no you didn't! you did not say "whOregon." mock all you want, but we have a chinese language program! :PPost a Comment