Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 23, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
English makes comeback in China 6We are studying for the revolution' Hy JOHN IIUKNS KP I'Lllillcatloils SHANGHAI It's u curious reversal, A full gencralim after pidgin Hnglish went out uf fash- ion along Nanking Road, it's back again at the instigation ol of the regime which abolished tlie LllUe England dial once ranged cither side of Kliang- hai's main shopping street. Walk down this once-grand iivcnuc In the small hours of tlic morning, and Hie youths pedalling their vegetable carts to market will cry out in uni- son as they pass: "Hello! How are you? Wait for a second wave of carts, and their riders in turn pick up the re- frain: "Hello! How are you? It is tlic same everywhere you go in the city Iliese days, for Shanghai is Hie site of a pilot program in language slruclion by radio. Tlic lan- guage district can have a crack dt it by tuning in to Ilia thrice- daily lessons beamed over tlic city's radio network. When the lessons first start- ed in the spring they caught on quickly, and reports which spoke of a crare to learn En- gli.'-li were no exaggeration. It is perhaps just as surprising that their popularity continues unabated after the first five months, even if the results in terms of spoken English re- main somewhat less than start- linS- The lessons arc .conveniently scheduled at breakfast, lunch and supper time, and it is hard to lind anywhere in (he city which is out of earshot of a ra- dio when Uic llirec half-hour programs are on the air. Even where there is no radio avail- able, the chances arc bcller Can a female fight bulls as ivell as any man? WILLIAM CEMLYN-JONES London Observer MADRID Women's lib has so far made little progress in Spain, but one woman lias launched a campaign against male monopoly of the bullfight ring. She is 24 year old Angela Hernandez. Known as Angclita, fair and goal-looking, she is the only daughter of a family of r.ine, from Alicante in Spain, whose late father was a ser- geant in the Guardia Civil (po- She lias been fighting hulls since she was IS, and lias been gored three times, in pri- vate bullrings in Spain and in public "corridas" in Mexico, women arc not barred. In Spain, no woman is per- mitted to fight on fool. They are allowed to kill bulls on horseback, in the ancient, aris- tocratic art of the "rejon- cador." But the S p a n i s h "aficion" and perhaps many Spanish toreros who do not want loo much compelilion In tlic already cut-throat profes- sion consider it is "undigni fled" for the girls to make >asses at fighting bulls. Angelita challenges this dis crimination and her lawyer, Sr Jose Briones, is bringing her case Spain's highest foor court. Scnorita Hernandez says, know I can fight a bull as wcl a man, hut they won1 let me. They just scorn Ib idea. My scars prove thai have no fcnr." Even if the labor cour makes a decision in Ar.geli favor, it is unlikely she will gt many contracts to fight ii Spain's major bull rings. Aw if she defies the regulations I) jumping into the arena in a attempt to prove her skill ar. courage, she will arrested- possibly by one of Madrid newly-created force of wome police. (Copyright Observer lan ever lhat there will tie a ludspcakcr somewhere in the icinity blaring the program orth. JNIVKRSAI, The lessons have a universal ppcal. They are mosl popular mong middle school studcnls, ml within Ihe space of three ays a visitor also sees how the has caught on among com boys in his hotel, workers n factory canteens, and even jmong the pedicali drivers in he street, some of whom have equipped themselves with tran- sistor radios for the purpose. Enthusiasts will go to con- siderable lengths not to miss a esson. One example among many is a cook in the eighlh- luor restaurant of the Peace Hotel, the imposing edifice on he waterfront that was known as Ihe Cathay in the days when I was one of the finest hotels in the Orient. The cook, a portly fellow in Ms thirties, likes to see guests in the hotel eat their dinner by p.m., when the evening lesson begins. Then, or shortly after, he can be.seen making his way to a small room lhat leads off the hotel's main lounge, which happens to house the only radio in the vicinity. Leaving the door to the lounge slightly ajar, and BO po- sitioning himself that Ihe light from the lounge falls across Ihe five-cent textbook in liis lap, he follows the lesson through to Ihe end, moving his lips in time with the broadcaster. Interrupt- ed by a stranger, he beams and declares: "Hello! How arc EXCEI'TIONS There are exceptions, but for the moment that is about as far as a conversation with one of the new language students will go. This is not so much a reflection on the students them selves as it. is n the extraor dinary difficulty any Chinese has in learning English, and on the rather limited range of ex pression offered in the lessons In truth, any conversation based on the vocabulary in th 10-lesson scries would lack Alberta, Wednesday, August 23, J972 PIDGIN ENGLISH BACK IN VOGUE Sixth-grade students siudy English at primary school in a suburb of Shanghai. something in spontaneity, given the insistence on idealogicaily- correct utterances. It is diffi- cult to imagine, for example, what of conversation could be made of Lesson One, which offers such sentences as Chairman Mao is our great leader. We must listen to Chair- man Mao and follow the Party." The textbook in which the les- sons are set forth is an 34-page pockelbook with a powder-blue cover showing a young Chi- nese shaking hands with a sai- lor of distinctly Anglo-Saxon mien. Starchy as the lessons within may lie, it seems clear that tlio object of the lessons is to make it possible for the people of the world's largest port city to make some kind of contact, however limited, with Lhe thousands of English-speak- ing visitors who pour in every year. The popularity of the lessons is underscored by the fact that the text has sold out. While the Shanghai No. 3 Printing Works gears itself up a second edition, newcomers to the lessons must make do with dog-eared copies borrowed from friends. In one case, a single copy was serv- ing a family of four, all of them keen students of the pro- gram. The lessons are so arranged that a student who comes to the program late has an oppor- tunity to catch up. Each of the three half-hours offered each day is devoted to a different lesson, with the broadcasters working their way slowly through the series to the end and then hack to the beginning. The host of the scries is a woman, originally introduced as "a with a clear, Oxford-accented English that sounds very much like that taught in Peking's Foreign Lan- guages Institute. She works in tandem with a male announcer and a chorus that sounds as though it is composed predom- inantly of teenagers. One day last month, the noon- hour lesson was devoted to ex- ercises based on Lesson Two. One such exercise went as fol- lows, with the host reading slowly through each sentence first and the students repeating after her "This is a badge. That is a book. Is tlu's a badge? Yes it is. It is Chairman Mao badge. Is that a hadge, too? No, it is not. It is a book. It is copy of 'Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung'. We love our Great Leader Chair- man Mao." Lesson Seven, at supper, was rather more varied: "This is our classroom. It is bright and clean. There is a portrait of Chairman Mao on its front wall. Just below the portrait there is a large blackboard. There are many desks and benches in the classroom. We always keep them neat and clean. There are 2o students in our class. We often help each other. We study hard for the revolution." Simple as the lessons are, they arc considerably more ad- vanced than the beginner's courses offered in the cily's primary schools. There, stu- dents of eight and nine follow their teacher in enunciating such passages as: "The sun is red. The sun is bright. The sun is Chairman Mao. The sun is the Communist Party of China. We love Chairman Mao. We love the Communist Party of China." Ask the students in the pri- mary schools, the roomhoys in the hotel, or the workers in the factories w h y they study En- glish at all, when the oppor- tunities to use it are so limited, and the answer is always the same. Quoting straight from Lesson One in the textbook, they will tell you, without bat- ting an eye: "We study English for the Revolution. 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