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What's The Chinese Word for Literacy?

July 22, 2008 - Joselyn King
Gov. Joe Manchin often has said he wonders why the Chinese and Hindi languages aren't being taught in our schools.

This is because as the economies of both China and India continue to grow, he believes our next generation of leaders is going to have to know these languages to compete in the world market.

The people in these countries speak English, he points out. "Do you think they fear any of you competing with them?" he asked those both at Girls State and at the Governor's Honors Academy events happening this summer in Wheeling.

Now Manchin may be seeking the added time in school for students to achieve acumen in foreign languages. He is asking state education leaders to investigate the possibility of having a year-round school year.

On the surface it might seem that more education time is necessary for school students. Most recent studies show that while American students outperform their counterparts in most foreign countries in math and science scores, these same scores are lagging behind those of Asian students.

But no one is talking about how to improve language skills of American students in one major important language -- English.

One need not look too far to see that many in our society either can't or don't take the time to read, write and spell properly. The problem is likely to become even worse as the most prevalent form of written communication among the youth is texting.

Can U say LOL (laugh out loud) ? Or is that BBB (boring beyond belief)?

Maybe just a few extra hours on reading and spelling could be spent during the already existing school hours and improving literacy skills. You can't very well learn from a math or science book without a good foundation of reading skills in English .

That is, of course, unless the books are written in Chinese or Hindi.


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