Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Count in Chinese

The BBC marries monetary policy, political clout, and elementary students counting in Mandarin. It's an idea not always laid out so plainly in journalism--that schools incubate ideas of our future. This future happens to be one where China and the U.S. trade fairly and often. This idea resembles a friendship where courtesy for culture and a willingness to share line-leader in the global economy. I'd wager that since the demographics of The Potomac school don't in any way match the country's as a whole, the school's parent's politics and values don't align either. There's an interesting study in there someplace: the party ID of parents whose children take classes in Chinese, or Arabic, or Farsi. As the number of students taking classes in these languages increases (2000 numbers still have them very low as counted in 19 states (pdf)) the motivations for the new languages will be studied. In addition to the Center for Applied Linguistics list of benefits due to early language acquisition, we might do well to explore other motivations like an ambition to shape a vision of the future.


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