Crazy Chinese words

The school students of Texas have been recommended a list of 150 books that includes only four that reflect Hispanic culture, despite nearly half of the students coming from Hispanic backgrounds.  The list is heavy on the ‘classics’ but has been roundly criticised by local teachers for not providing literature that many of the students will be able to relate to easily.

The chairman of the State Board of Education, Don McLeroy, said that he couldn’t comment on the list, as he hadn’t read it.  From the full article at a local paper:

However, McLeroy said he directed a group of experts to add examples of “good literature” to the list. He said students should spend their time in English class learning English and reading literature that will help prepare them for college.

“What good does it do to put a Chinese story in an English book?” he said. “You learn all these Chinese words, OK. That’s not going to help you master … English. So you really don’t want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them. Why should you take a child’s time trying to learn a word that they’ll never ever use again?”

He added that some words — such as chow mein — might be useful.

Despite the fact that the criticisms weren’t anything to do with ‘Chinese stories’, Mr McLeroy has provided some great insights.  Perhaps only stories about ordering food from ethnic restaurants are appropriate for the students of the Lone Star state.

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