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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台五月-Chinese Classes Grow in Popularity with U

时间:2007-07-17 06:31来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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More than 1 billion people count Mandarin1 as their native language. These sheer numerical dominance plus the fact that China has the world's fastest growing economy has made Mandarin Chinese attractive as a foreign language for more American students. Taylor Sylar reports from Oakland.

"e luo si…e luo si ren." At Pitmon high school in the Oakland Hills, there're 14 students in this 1st year mandarin class,a mixture of Asian, White, African-American and Indian. Freshman2 SW is half Mongolian and half Russian. He says it wasn't exactly his idea to take on this challenge.
SW: My parents, it was my parents' idea. We just discussed about it. I still want to take Spanish but my parents said that China had a brighter future.
That brighter future lit up right now by China's explosive economy is luring3 some 24,000 public school students to mandarin classes.

That's on top of the 150,000 students enrolled4 in private Chinese programs. Those are tiny numbers compared with the four million students studying Spanish in this country but mandarin's appeal is growing.

Both because of economic prospects5 and because of an expanding Chinese immigrant population here. Ninth grader Nicole Zeadow was already fluent in Cantonese but her parents, both from Hong Kong, want her to learn mandarin, China's official language. But Zeadow says she has her own motivation for wanting to learn the language." If my mum did want me to know something she would speak it in mandarin. So I would understand. So I would like…Ah, I need to take mandarin, I got to understand. So it was like both our decisions to take it." Zeadow says she plans to continue studying mandarin in college. She'll have lots of accompany there. Studies show that the number of students taking Chinese in college increased 20% between 1998 and 2002. That growing demand had the college board survey high schools to determine the interest in advance placement exams for mandarin. The response was 10 times what the board had expected. So as up to 2007 the college board will begin offering its mandarin AP exams which is almost certain to spark even more interest as students clamor for that early college credit and therein lies a big challenge.

The biggest bottleneck6 given that we know this growing interest among students and schools in offering it, is the lack of certified7 teachers.

Vivian Stewart is vice8 president of the Asian society, a group dedicated9 to increasing communication and understanding of Asia.

We have many speakers of Chinese in this country, both from heritage background and those who have taken it as undergraduates. But they are not preparing to be teachers because there hasn't been a market for teachers.

At least not until recently. Now, demand is strong enough that specialists are considering whether mandarin teachers need a fast track credential process. But even with teachers, getting a Chinese language program off the ground at a high school is difficult.

It can be expensive and slow to grow as the language has the reputation of being very difficult to learn. First, there're the artful and intricate Chinese characters to master , then students have the daunting10 task of learning to pronounce mandarin where 1 word can have 4 meanings depending on which of four tones is used.
Nineth grader Shain Scolf offers this demonstration11.

From ma, you use the 1st tone ma, it ends up being mother. But if you use the 2nd tone, which is i can't like up and down ma, it ends up being horse. So it always depends on what you're trying to say.

Well, there may be tones to perfect in mandarin, there're no tenses or conjugations unlike the Romance languages. Mandarin enthusiasts12 say that once the fear factor is overcome, the language is actually not too hard to learn. For NPR news, I'm Terry




点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 Mandarin TorzdX     
n.中国官话,国语,满清官吏;adj.华丽辞藻的
参考例句:
  • Just over one billion people speak Mandarin as their native tongue.大约有十亿以上的人口以华语为母语。
  • Mandarin will be the new official language of the European Union.普通话会变成欧盟新的官方语言。
2 freshman 1siz9r     
n.大学一年级学生(可兼指男女)
参考例句:
  • Jack decided to live in during his freshman year at college.杰克决定大一时住校。
  • He is a freshman in the show business.他在演艺界是一名新手。
3 luring f0c862dc1e88c711a4434c2d1ab2867a     
吸引,引诱(lure的现在分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Cheese is very good for luring a mouse into a trap. 奶酪是引诱老鼠上钩的极好的东西。
  • Her training warned her of peril and of the wrong, subtle, mysterious, luring. 她的教养警告她:有危险,要出错儿,这是微妙、神秘而又诱人的。
4 enrolled ff7af27948b380bff5d583359796d3c8     
adj.入学登记了的v.[亦作enrol]( enroll的过去式和过去分词 );登记,招收,使入伍(或入会、入学等),参加,成为成员;记入名册;卷起,包起
参考例句:
  • They have been studying hard from the moment they enrolled. 从入学时起,他们就一直努力学习。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He enrolled with an employment agency for a teaching position. 他在职业介绍所登了记以谋求一个教师的职位。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 prospects fkVzpY     
n.希望,前途(恒为复数)
参考例句:
  • There is a mood of pessimism in the company about future job prospects. 公司中有一种对工作前景悲观的情绪。
  • They are less sanguine about the company's long-term prospects. 他们对公司的远景不那么乐观。
6 bottleneck uRfyN     
n.瓶颈口,交通易阻的狭口;妨生产流程的一环
参考例句:
  • The transportation bottleneck has blocked the movement of the cargo.运输的困难阻塞了货物的流通。
  • China's strained railroads already become a bottleneck for the economy.中国紧张的铁路运输已经成为经济增长的瓶颈。
7 certified fw5zkU     
a.经证明合格的;具有证明文件的
参考例句:
  • Doctors certified him as insane. 医生证明他精神失常。
  • The planes were certified airworthy. 飞机被证明适于航行。
8 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
9 dedicated duHzy2     
adj.一心一意的;献身的;热诚的
参考例句:
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
10 daunting daunting     
adj.使人畏缩的
参考例句:
  • They were faced with the daunting task of restoring the house.他们面临着修复房子的艰巨任务。
  • Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect.开始一项新工作有时会让人望而却步。
11 demonstration 9waxo     
n.表明,示范,论证,示威
参考例句:
  • His new book is a demonstration of his patriotism.他写的新书是他的爱国精神的证明。
  • He gave a demonstration of the new technique then and there.他当场表演了这种新的操作方法。
12 enthusiasts 7d5827a9c13ecd79a8fd94ebb2537412     
n.热心人,热衷者( enthusiast的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • A group of enthusiasts have undertaken the reconstruction of a steam locomotive. 一群火车迷已担负起重造蒸汽机车的任务。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Now a group of enthusiasts are going to have the plane restored. 一群热心人计划修复这架飞机。 来自新概念英语第二册
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  chinese  class  popular
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