Should Chinese Language Course Be Adopted inCollege Curricula?
The moment I saw the topic,a post originallysubmitted in Peking University BBS occurred to me.The post composed of a conversation between aChinese young man, the author, and a waiter comingfrom Japan. The author suffered frustration whenthe waiter asked him about Chinese culture.Surprisingly, the Japanese demonstrated that he got command of more Chinese culture thanmost Chinese young people. I do not know what your initial response is supposing that youwere set in the circumstance. As a matter of fact, Chinese language course has drawn scantattention among college students, for many students lay their emphasis on English learning. Iam of opinion that Chinese language course should be set in the category of compulsorycourses in college curriculum.
Firstly, it is high time for college students to re-learn Chinese language. For many Chinesestudents, they just learn Chinese language for examinations’ sake in elementary schools andhigh schools. In other words, many learn Chinese language to get high scores instead ofgrasping the essence of Chinese culture. In fact, we can not measure one’s understanding ofculture by how many scores he get in the examinations or how many poems and essays he hasmemorized. What matters is whether one can figure out the gist and facilitate his life throughwhat he gains from the learning. In college, students are not imposed as much pressure as inhigh school in learning Chinese language.Besides, they are more mature than in childhood andhavethe ability to think critically. If they do not seize the chance to re-learn the Chineselanguage, odds are that they can not inherit wisdoms of our ancestors and not get preparedfor the future.
Secondly, since western cultures are looming large in China with the advent of globalization,Chinese traditional culture seems to be endangered. Many people, especially the youth, areinterested in learning foreign language, English in particular, and their cultures. They prefer towatch American movies, Japanese cartoons, and listen to foreign music. While western culturalproducts are well received, the popularity of the Chinese counterpart is on the decrease.When foreign cultures are so prevalent in China, will our future generation figure out ourChinese cultural identity? As the basic manifestation of culture, Chinese language deservesmore attention and better treatment. Chinese universities should take the responsibilities topreserve and develop our traditional culture, Chinese language in particular.
All in all, as traditional Chinese culture and wisdom manifest themselves in Chinese language,adopting the course in the curricula will not only educate college students, but also helppreserve and develop Chinese culture.