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How Not to Teach Chinese

The Chronicle of Higher Education – Geoffrey Pullum

“Victor Mair wrote on Language Log last month about a test in what appears to have been a third-year class in Chinese at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, in New York. What made it news in China (see in particular this story in the South China Morning Post) was that the test involved giving synonyms for a number of words written with Chinese characters so rare and archaic that many Chinese people were prepared to admit on social-media sites that they would not have been able to pass the test. This story has remained in my thoughts for weeks. It pulls together several worries I have about foreign-language instruction.”(more)

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