There’s been an exchange on listserv between two people, both of whom have contributed nice stuff to the listserv. One in particular has served fl teaching for many, many years at a high level.
The exchange went like this:
In our state, Chinese is replacing French on the basis of the huge trade we have with China. Admins get free trips to China and other perks, paid for, as are the teachers, by the Chinese gov’t.
Well, when you look at the stats, if that’s what you’re basing this on, then 45% of trade for our state is with Francophone countries and only 5.5% is with China.
Another person responded that it’s not appropriate to have languages battle each other. When the first person said but, yeah, they’re replacing one language with another and basing that decision on false statistics, the other person just responded that we shouldn’t be competing. He seems to completely ignore a pertinent fact: someone in the state is lying to the public in order to get Chinese money. If Chinese won out over French, and it is indeed dumb to put languages in competition, simply b/c more people thought Chinese offered the students more opportunity, that’d be fine. But when it’s based on a lie, shouldn’t someone be called on it?