18
Feb
08

Chinese in the Mainstream: Learning from Kai-Lan

Ni Hao Kai-Lan
I sat down to watch a few DVR days worth of Nick Jr’s “Ni Hao Kai-Lan” with my virusy family. It made it’s debut on Chinese New Year. (btw Xin Nian Kuai Le! 農曆新年) Jayden’s picked up more Chinese in one week than he has since he was born. The show is an interesting venture capitalizing on the bilingualism of Dora the Explorer and the play along think along techniques of Blues Clues. What’s more interesting to me is the emotional intelligence that Kai-Lan teaches. During the middle of the episode a character demonstrates some issue and Kai-Lan encourages kids to figure out why they acted in that way and find a solution. I can appreciate that and the Mandarin lessons.

The NYTimes has a good article on the show and its creator, Karen Chau. I found her relationship with her dad quite amusing and all too familiar.

Ms. Chao, who earned a degree in digital art from the University of California, Irvine, in 2000, didn’t quite follow the path her father preferred. “He set me up for an internship at PaineWebber, but I doodled on the cold-call sheets and taped the phone receiver down,” she said. “I wasn’t a very good worker bee, but Dad was ecstatic because I was wearing business outfits with shoulder pads and big pants. In Chinese culture criticism is love. So my dad must really, really love me, because he has a lot to say.”

Kai-Lan is timely. Kids are more influenced by Asian culture than ever before getting beyond Kung-Fu and Moo-Shu Pork of my childhood experience. Makes me think of all those years of Chinese school. To think, my parents were cutting edge then. It’s essential now to learn Chinese in American schools in order to prepare for a global economy.

An estimated 50,000 American children are being taught Mandarin in public schools, with an additional 50,000 studying in private settings. Next month the first 2,000 high school students will take the College Board’s new Advanced Placement exam in Mandarin. The number is small but an indication of big things to come, said Tom Matts, director of the board’s World Languages Initiative. “We expect to see growth in this course unlike any other introduced in the last decade or so.”

Also read Nick Jr on Ni Hao Kai-Lan

Advertisements

1 Response to “Chinese in the Mainstream: Learning from Kai-Lan”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


abcpastor
[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
[i]
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
[ii]
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
[iii]
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

Archives

Flickr

A boy and his dog.  #snowday #goldendoodlepuppy #goldendoodle #goldendoodleofinsta

What doesn't kill me...what!? #TheTomBoys

Love when this little explorer is lost in his books. #TheTomBoys

I am thankful. #thetomboys

More Photos

Feed the Ego


Laurence Tom's Facebook profile

Add to Technorati Favorites


%d bloggers like this: