Mandarin Chinese gaining popularity in public schools

Raymond Chen

NPR reports that Mandarin Chinese is gaining popularity in public schools. (But please oh please don’t take pronunciations lessons from the student at time code 3:25. His first tone was clearly a second—falling victim to the classic mistake of applying English tone shaping to Chinese syllables.) On the other hand, some of those students who chose to study Mandarin Chinese didn’t, um, do their homework:

Some say they are here by accident or because they thought it would be an easy “A”. Oops.

I do admire the argument of one parent against learning Chinese:

Everybody is going to speak English. I’m sure the Chinese all speak English.

That’s right. The Chinese all speak English. The accent? That’s just an affectation.


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