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2006年NPR美国国家公共电台二月-Teaching Mandarin for a 'Chinese Century'

时间:2007-07-19 06:47来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)
At this middle school in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a sort of linguistic1 wrestling match takes place every afternoon. It pits about a dozen students ages 12 to 14 against the formidable language of Mandarin2 Chinese.
"Hey~Jia. Jia. The door is “men”."
The students put up a good fight ,but Mandarin seems to be winning, evidenced by the pained expression on the face of young Chelsea Kirby.
#1: "It is hard."
#2: "What's the hardest part?"
#1: "Every thing, the symbols, and everything."
Those symbols or characters make up the Chinese alphabet. There are at least 3,000 of them, then there are the tones, the dreaded3 tones.
#3: "You basically have four, four different tones. And the minor4 part and we can tell the difference, but to Americans and especially for those new students, they have no idea."
Change the tone, explains teacher Parky Fue, and you change the word.
#3: "One word for horse, pronounce “ma” for mother, “ma” so you don't want to call your mom the wrong thing."

So why are these students wrestling with this notoriously difficult language? Some say they are here by accident, or because they thought it would be in easy “A”. Oops! But one student seems to know exactly why he is here, his name is Patrol Widner, and he is 12 years old, twelve going on thirteen.

Patrol Widner: I think it's very good, because Chinese is a growing language and, and we can need it later, because businesses like banks and companies are shipping5 jobs overseas to China, and so now learning Chinese is gonna become a real, real vantage in that.
Patrol is a public school student, taking part in a pilot program, one of a handful nationwide, Joseph Lee is the school’s principal.
Joseph Lee: Last year, there were only 16,000 students in, in the United States that were even taught Mandarin Chinese, and you are talking about 1.5 billion people in the world who speak the language, so we, we have to catch up.

On Lee's desk is a copy of Thomson Freeman's bestseller - The World Is Flat. The book's message that American should prepare to compete with an emerging China and India helps explain the push to learn Mandarin. Michael Levin ,head of education for the Asian society , points to the experience of the US automakers and their early forays into the Chinese market. The US firms lost ground quickly to smaller Korean automakers.

Michael Levin: It was the Korean's knowledge not only of the culture, but directly of the language and the ways of doing business in China that gave them the upper hand. It wasn't so much the quality of their product, as it was the quality of their preparation to make the deals.

With that in mind, Washington has stepped in. A bill in the senate will pump more than a billion-dollars of federal funds into Chinese language programmes. Some school systems, though, aren't waiting on Washington. In Chicago, more than 3,000 students are already studying Chinese, beginning in kindergarten.Program director, Robert Davis says many of the students are Latino, so for them, Chinese is just another language.

Robert Davis: I go into these kindergarten classes for little kids,and the teacher is saying, you know, this is an orange and then they are saying it in Spanish and then they are saying in Chinese, just flows all together. It's it's spectacular.

Not everyone, though, finds it quite so spectacular.
Theresa Hanson: If I had a choice, I would not have picked Chinese.
That is Theresa Hanson, she questiones how Chinese is going to help her son, a middle school student in Florida.
Theresa Hanson: Honestly, I don't see where he is going to use Chinese, even though they become a, you know, the powerhouse in the world. Everybody's going to speak English.
In fact, many Chinese, some one hundred million are learning English. American schools, critics say, should focus on teaching maths and science skills. Language is common , Languages go. Remember when Japanese was all the rage, but those basic skills are always needed.Perhaps, says Robert Davis, but China he says is simply too big to ignore.

Robert Davis: You know, we want our students, even if they don't go to China, work, you know, for Motorola in China. We want them to, be able to have an understanding what is going on in China and if nothing else, this just gonna expand their perspectives, expand horizons for them.

And for some parents, it's never too early to expand those horizons. They are hiring Chinese speaking nannies to care for their infants and they hope give them a head start in what someone calling “ the Chinese Century”.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 linguistic k0zxn     
adj.语言的,语言学的
参考例句:
  • She is pursuing her linguistic researches.她在从事语言学的研究。
  • The ability to write is a supreme test of linguistic competence.写作能力是对语言能力的最高形式的测试。
2 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。
3 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
参考例句:
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
4 minor e7fzR     
adj.较小(少)的,较次要的;n.辅修学科;vi.辅修
参考例句:
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
5 shipping WESyg     
n.船运(发货,运输,乘船)
参考例句:
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  mandarin  century
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