Chinese classes in Bowling Green Missouri teach telepathy as well as language

Monday, March 02, 2009

Bowling Green, Missouri.

Here in Bowling Green, where school buses yield to Amish-driven horses and buggies, where the high school students can opt to take Advanced Livestock or Advanced Greenhouse, 17-year-old Tyler Cannon sits in Mandarin class, discussing his after-school job.

"Wŏ xĭhuān chī hàn băo," he said, leaning back in his desk, arms crossed.

"You like cooking hamburgers at Dairy Queen?" quizzed his classmate, Breanna Orf.

"I do," he replied, offering a cool grin.
That's amazing, considering that all he said was "I like eating hamburgers" (我喜欢吃汉堡).

Besides that though it's still worth reading to see how Chinese is beginning to gain popularity as a subject, and you can find articles like this in local newspapers all the time talking about recent growth in class sizes and schools newly offering the language where they didn't before:
This is the first year Bowling Green has offered classes in Chinese, and the nearly 50 students there have signed up for the challenge.
The problem with Chinese though as a subject is the return on investment that a language student needs to put in compared to other languages, given that it takes that much more effort to attain fluency compared to a lot of other languages. It deserves to be an option among other languages of course, but some articles seem to make the claim that Chinese is going to be the next must-know language given its large population, but this isn't really the case. Chinese still has a long way to go before this happens.


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