Cover Story Responds to Students’ Submission

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After reading the entire letter that Woodbury students signed and presented to Principal Randall Yates (to read the full letter, see www.shakerite.com), it was apparent that Woodbury students feel they are being subject to an ineffective Chinese curriculum, and that social studies classes were being sacrificed without cause. In writing the article, “The Challenges of Learning Chinese,” we meant only to convey that the Woodbury Chinese program, as it is now, is inadequate.  We are not questioning the efficacy of the techniques used to teach Chinese, but rather their applicability when Chinese classes are only twice a month. Furthermore, the district is currently partially financing eight Chinese teachers in the lower schools and will shoulder their full salaries beginning next year, prompting the question, “Is it worth it?”

We largely agree with the authors of the above letter. We feel as though Woodbury students require “all or nothing” when learning Chinese – either a much more comprehensive study of the language, or to eliminate Chinese as it is being taught now from the curriculum. The authors clearly advocate for a much stronger Chinese program at the lower schools, and present a convincing argument.

Lastly, we intentionally did not address the high school Chinese curriculum. We did not intend to negate the positive effects of the Chinese program, but rather to focus on the situation at Woodbury.

-Cover Story Editors

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