Monday, May 5, 2008

Assignment #21

Poet Yu Kwang-chung urges new gov't to save Mandarin


Poet Yu Kwang-chung asked the new KMT government to save the Chinese language yesterday.
Yu, a member of the National League for Saving Chinese, demanded that at least the teaching of Chinese classics, Confucian classics in particular, account for at least 55 percent of the Chinese lessons.

Yu urged Ma Ying-jeou, the president-elect, to cancel a new Chinese teaching program to give students a better chance to learn their mother tongue.

Starting the next school year, the new program will shorten the teaching of the Chinese language to four 50-minute sessions a week.

"We need at least five sessions a week to enable our students to acquire a better working command of the Chinese language," said Yu, who taught English and English literature at practically all prestigious universities in Taiwan.

The number of Chinese lessons in primary and junior high schools will be reduced to four a week. "It should be raised to at least five," said a member of the league.

Moreover, Yu said, primary schools participating in the nine-year integrated compulsory education program should offer 10 Chinese lessons a week.

"Junior high school participants in the program should give six lessons a week at the very least," Yu added.

The teaching of Chinese classics also helps in moral education, said Chang Hsiao-feng.

"As a matter of fact," Chang said, "Confucian classics teach ethics as well."

Questions
1.) Does Chinese need to be "saved"? Is it in trouble?

2.) Will more Chinese classes help students learn their mother tongue better?

3.) Why do you think the government has reduced the number of Chinese classes?

For the real article, see the China Post:

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national%20news/2008/05/05/154912/Poet%2DYu.htm

77 comments:

Dorcas said...

Now that my exam was over, I'am leaving my second comment!(XDD)

Actually, Chinese lessons have been reduced year by year. Insdead of telling the government to "add" Chinese lessons," save" is truly a more appropriate word. The government has cut down many part of the teaching of Chinese classics. As far as I am concerned, that is a very important part. The ministry of Education has put too much emphasis on English, Math, and Science( that's why I think the government reduce the Chinese lesson). I am not really sure about whether the Chinese lessons have anything to do with the learning of the mother tongue, though I know that the pronunciation of the Chinese classics sounds similar to Taiwanese. But what I am sure is that we need to place more importance on the teaching of Chinese, especailly the Chinese classics part.

(Auh....I'm not really sure what I am writing about. Anyway, I've done it!)

William said...

I don't really know about the Chinese lesson reducing things. But one thing that I'm sure is the Chinese classics teach ethics. That might help a little to make students behave.

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