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Not all expats qualified to teach English
SCHOOLS in the city are more aware now that some foreigners claiming to be English teachers are unqualified for the position. cont


Part-time job pay scales
The bureau surveyed nearly 8,000 local part-time workers . . .The wage guideline suggested that part-time performers should be paid 70 yuan to 100 yuan an hour on average . . Most of the free-lancers could earn a monthly income of 2,000 yuan or more, with the ceiling wage for some demanding jobs such as conference interpreters exceeding 7,000 yuan per day. . . cont


Experts: Chinese map a fake
A recently unveiled map purporting to show a Chinese explorer discovered America in 1418 has been . . dismissed by experts as a fake. cont


Universities hit by boom in bogus degrees online
THE reputation of British universities abroad is being damaged by companies peddling bogus degrees, the Government’s quality watchdog has claimed. cont.


French teacher says university stole her image
A EUROPEAN professor is suing a city university for allegedly using her photo in a student recruitment campaign without her permission.
Xuhui District People's Court heard the case yesterday but did not render an immediate verdict. The plaintiff is Francesca Manganelli, 39, a former French professor in the Institute of European Culture and Commerce at Shanghai Normal University. cont.


Hired 'guns' haunt college exams
Take a cheat sheet into the exam room or have a peek at someone else's paper when the monitor isn't looking these common ways of cheating at tests can only be called small potatoes now, given the hot new business of hiring a gunman.
A gunman is the nickname for someone who takes tests for others. cont.


Awash in dialects, China relies on Mandarin as common tongue - but how common is it?
SHANGHAI, China. Thousands of years of Chinese linguistic heritage have come down to this: a squabble over Tom and Jerry. "Schools don't allow Shanghainese to be spoken, and now TV doesn't either. It looks like Shanghai comedy will be dying out," he adds. cont.


Not all expats qualified to teach English
SHANGHAI DAILY Yan Zhen 2006-05-15

Foreigners seek jobs at the 1st Shanghai Job Fair for Foreign Culture and Education Experts and Foreign Teachers on Saturday. Employers raised qualification standards to weed out unqualified teachers

SCHOOLS in the city are more aware now that some foreigners claiming to be English teachers are unqualified for the position.

Schools at the first Shanghai Job Fair for Foreign Culture and Education Experts and Foreign Teachers on Saturday said they raised both qualification standards and work experience criteria to weed out unqualified teachers."Schools now know that not every foreigner with white skin and blue eyes is qualified to teach English," said Cindy Mi, director of the ABC English Training Center Shanghai.

Nearly 30 kindergartens, schools and training institutes posted more than 200 job vacancies at the fair. Most of the positions were for English teachers.The pay scale ranged from 6,000 yuan (US$749) to 12,000 yuan per month, plus medical insurance, accommodation and air ticket allowance.Soong Ching Ling Kindergarten offered the highest annual salary of US$50,000 for a native English-speaking director of its international division."Few applicants are really qualified for the position," said Ye Yiyun, director of Soong Ching Ling's international division.

Most of the positions required a native speaker with at least a university background in education and a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate.Schools said work experience was also essential for teachers taking charge of special curriculums for early age education or in high schools.However, some applicants had neither the university background required or professional qualifications.

A British man, who teaches in neighboring Jiangsu Province, was turned down by Soong Ching Ling Kindergarten as he had a bachelor's degree in human resources management.Shanghai Jincai High School also placed several recently graduated foreign university students on the waiting list due to a lack of experience.

Some teachers even turned out to be tourists who taught part time. They had no interest in teaching, but just wanted to earn money to continue traveling.

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Part-time job pay scales – feb 2006
TAKING free-lance jobs has become a popular way for locals to make a living, especially young university graduates, according to a recent re­port by the Shanghai Labor and So­cial Security Bureau.

The bureau surveyed nearly 8,000 local part-time workers about their working situation and publicized the 2006 wage guidelines for part-time jobs in the city yesterday. Nearly half of the part-time work­ers surveyed said that they were free lancers who depend on an hourly wage to make a living, rather than having a steady job. The situation is particularly popular among young university or college graduates. About 14 percent of the part-timers surveyed were graduates with less than three-year working experience.

Most of them have taken up knowledge or skill-demanding positions such as interpreters or performers, the survey said. For instance, a university graduate surnamed Huang now lives on a part-time piano playing job, earning 100 yuan (US$12) an hour playing back ground music at a local hotel.

Huang took an office job after graduation, but he quit several months later due to the unsatisfactory working environment. "I didn't intend to be a free-lancer at first," said Huang. "But I gradually began to love my current job be cause of its flexible working schedule, good environment and favorable pay."

The wage guideline suggested that part-time performers should be paid 70 yuan to 100 yuan an hour on average, a 5 yuan to 50 yuan increase over guidelines released in the second half of last year. Most of the free-lancers could earn a monthly income of 2,000 yuan or more, with the ceiling wage for some demanding jobs such as conference interpreters exceeding 7,000 yuan per day.

For middle-age laid off workers with poor professional skills, low-demanding part-time jobs such as salesmen and supermarket assistant were also good options, said Zhang Yuan, a bureau official.

Pay scale chart
high
ave
low
[ RMB / day ]
simultaneous interpreter
7000 
4500 
2000
[ RMB / hour ]
golf instructor
300
100
60
violin tutor
180
100  
40
chinese tutor
130 
50
30
bartender
80
30
15
driving coach
70
40
20
baker
30
20
8

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Experts: Chinese Map a Fake
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A recently unveiled map purporting to show a Chinese explorer discovered America in 1418 has been met with skepticism from cartographers and historians.

An inscription identifies the map as a copy made in 1763 of an original drawn in 1418.

Antiquities collector Liu Gang, who unveiled the map in Beijing last week, says it proves Chinese seafarer Zheng He discovered America more than 70 years before Christopher Columbus set foot in the New World. He said he purchased the map in 2001 from a Shanghai dealer for $5,000.

But experts have dismissed the map as a fake, saying it resembles a French 17th-century world map with its depiction of California as an island, National Geographic News reported Tuesday. That China is not shown in the center also suggests the Chinese did not make the map, one expert said.

"If this is a 1418 map, it's a whole style very much different than any 1418 map that I've seen," John Hebert, chief of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress, told National Geographic News.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060124-081153-8472r

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Universities hit by boom in bogus degrees online
By Tony Halpin, Education Editor ,The Times December 22, 2005

THE reputation of British universities abroad is being damaged by companies peddling bogus degrees, the Government’s quality watchdog has claimed.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) raised the alarm about a growing number of foreign companies that sell fake degrees and doctorates online to people who have “life experience”. Academic inspectors in other countries also expressed concern that Britain was becoming a haven for fake universities. A legal loophole makes it possible for overseas operations to register as universities provided that they do not claim to be offering British degrees. Many of the companies seek to give themselves respectability by adopting British names and titles, while mentioning only in the small print on their websites that their degrees are not approved by any British academic bodies.

Peter Williams, the QAA’s chief executive, said: “At present there is no regulation of foreign higher education providers in the UK so long as they don’t pretend to award UK degrees. A large number of these seem to be operating on the margins of legality, with dangerous consequences for the reputation of UK higher education internationally. This isn’t just a matter of ‘let the buyer beware’: foreign governments are beginning to wonder about all our institutions.”

Alan Contreras, of the Office of Degree Authorisation in the United States, said that companies selling fake degrees were attracted to Britain by the “stellar reputation” of British universities abroad. “That means that degree-mill operators like to be able to claim to operate in the UK,” he told The Times Higher Education Supplement.

“The main issue is that the UK allows entities to call themselves universities and issue degrees based on spurious or doubtful approvals in other countries. The convenient fiction is that it’s not the UK’s problem. But it is, because the rest of the world thinks they are UK degrees.”

George Brown, of the Australian Higher Education Consulting Group, said that Britain was becoming a haven for bogus universities. It encountered fake degrees issued by British-based companies every week.

“The UK is being preyed upon because of weak legislative practice,” he said.

The Swedish Agency for Higher Education said that it had dealt with 14 cases since 1998, “and each year we see more”. A Swedish study estimated that the number of fake universities worldwide had grown fourfold since 2000, from about 200 to 800.

It is illegal under the Education Reform Act 1988 to award a British degree from a body that is not recognised by the Department for Education and Skills. However, foreign organisations can avoid prosecution if they take “reasonable steps” to show that their degrees are not awarded by a British institution. Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, acknowledged that there was a problem with companies offering bogus degrees, but said it was a global matter.

DEGREE OF FICTION

The global market in fake degrees and college diplomas is estimated to be worth up to $1 billion (£580 million) a year. A bachelor’s degree can be bought for as little as $150 and a doctorate for $500 . Most of the “universities” offer degrees for “life experience”, without requiring customers to attend classes or take exams

Many capitalise on the international reputation of British higher education by inventing British-sounding names to enhance their credibility online . George Weah, the former Chelsea footballer and Liberian presidential candidate, was found to have a degree from the fictitious Parkwood University in London

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French teacher says university stole her image
by Xu Fang - Shanghai Daily - Friday 16 December 2005 METRO A3

A EUROPEAN professor is suing a city university for allegedly using her photo in a student recruitment campaign without her permission.

Xuhui District People's Court heard the case yesterday but did not render an immediate verdict. The plaintiff is Francesca Manganelli, 39, a former French professor in the Institute of European Culture and Commerce at Shanghai Normal University.

Manganelli, who has dual nationality in France and Italy, is seeking 105,000 yuan (US$ 12,963) in compensation and an apology from the university. The plaintiff said she worked in the institute from September 2002 to June 30, 2005. During the period, the institute tried to record her classroom work several times, but she said she refused to allow it.

But in June this year, Manganelli said she discovered the school had taken a photo of her and included it in its advertising. The institute distributed recruitment notices bearing her image to attract students and also sent them to foreign universities to seek international cooperation, she said.

Manganelli complained that the institute failed to stop using the photo even after she hired a lawyer to send it a cease and desist notice. The defendant denied it had done anything wrong. Xu Yongjun, the university's lawyer, said Manganelli was informed when her photo was taken and that she cooperated. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for the institute to take her picture while teaching, the lawyer argued. In addition, Manganelli didn't object to the recruitment notice before her contract expired and even distributed the notices while attending a seminar in Beijing, Xu said.

The two sides engaged in a heated debate about whether the university profited by using the woman's photo, a key element in winning an image-rights case. The plaintiff argued that the university profited from the tuition it charged students to take Manganelli's course. The school, however, contended it is a non-profit institution.

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Hired 'guns' haunt college exams
By Pan Haixia and Gong Fang (Shanghai Star) Updated: 2005-01-11 14:29

Take a cheat sheet into the exam room or have a peek at someone else's paper when the monitor isn't looking these common ways of cheating at tests can only be called small potatoes now, given the hot new business of hiring a gunman.

A gunman is the nickname for someone who takes tests for others. As they must guarantee passing grades for their clients, gunmen must be good at answering exam questions if not well educated. The business, illegal as it is, is growing at an unprecedented rate on campuses. With the CET-4 (College English Test Level 4) just a few days away, the gunman business has entered its big season. "I have seen several advertisements seeking gunmen for the CET-4 test on campus," said Shelly Xu, a student at a Shangahi foreign languages university.

According to regulations, those who fail to pass CET-4 will not get a bachelor degree no matter how good the performance in other subjects. Given the importance of the test, hiring a gunman is an attractive choice for many desperate students. "Yet, instead of being discrete, the illegal business seems to have no shame. Advertisements were stuck almost everywhere, from the water boiler to the wall of the students' dormitory building. Even the toilet was not missed," said Xu.

Most of these ads were just small notices asking for people good at English to help take the test, with a mobile phone number to contact. Fang Fei is one among the many students who read such advertisements and called back. "I thought those who posted the advertisements might be desperate students who were too poor in English but eager to pass the exam," she said, "But actually many of them were put up by agencies which engaged themselves in arranging gunmen for other students. The reward they offered was quite tempting, 1,000 yuan (US$120) for passing the exam, a no-sweat task for English majors like me."

According to Fang, these agencies have many tactics to ensure the gunman is not detected at the exam. First they ask the client student to send them a photo, and they try to find a similar looking gunman for him or her. Since it is impossible to find a match for every client, many agencies have started to make false ID cards and test cards. The false cards have the gunman's photo on it, while the code number is the client's" she said.

Other agencies, choose not to go to so much trouble, and simply work out arrangements with the education authorities or the test monitors.

Although there is no proof that the education authorities have colluded with these agencies, many of these agencies?advertisements on the Internet include a sentence to the effect that they have good guanxi (relations) with authorities. Some even go so far as to say that they are attached to several government sectors.

"Gunmen can be divided into three types," said Xiao Ming (not his real name), a local university student, who has been a test stand-in five times.

First are those who take exams for their friends who are lagging behind in their studies. These gunmen don't do it for the money. Several beers or a nice dinner is enough.

The second type is self-employed and does it as a business but isn't connected to any group or agency.

The third type are those who are like agency employees. Their jobs may involve travelling to other cities to take tests.

"It is this third type that is growing the fastest. The most representative one may be the huanqiu qiangshou jituan, or Global Gunman Group," he said. Its website, www.qiangshoujituan.com, which was blocked several weeks ago after being revealed by the local media, was re-activated in late December. The service it provides ranges from CET-4 to TOEFL and IELTS, and from the registered accountant to a custom declarer. The prices charged for taking tests vary from 400 yuan to 10,000 yuan (US$48 to US$1,200). The highest prices are for IELTS and TOEFL, set at around 12,000 yuan (US$1,445).

The website touts three different services to clients. Apart from arranging gunmen, they can also provide test papers along with the answers to the clients before the test or provide answers through certain wireless equipment during the testing.

According to Li, an employee with the group, it is quite safe to be a gunman. "It is very hard to distinguish a fake test card from a real one. Almost all our gunmen come back safe and sound," she said. Echoing her words, Xiao Ming said that there are only three circumstances under which the gunman might be caught. The first is if the test monitors happen to know the student the gunman is to replace. The second is when some other students report the gunman to the teacher, and the third is when the false test and ID cards the gunman uses are detected by the monitors.

"The unlucky ones will be expelled by the school," she said. A girl student at Fudan University was expelled last year for being a gunman, and in Central China's Hunan Province, six students were deprived of their bachelor's degrees and graduation certificates after hiring gunmen for their CET-4.

Legal loopholes
Compared with the quick growth of the gunman business, effective measures from the authorities against it seem to be slow in coming.

"The gunman is not the business of the police sector," said Ma Lanjin, an official with the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. "So far there is no law or regulation dealing with the gunman, and neither have we ever dealt with any such case. According to the country's laws, only cases such as stealing test papers can be deemed a crime and categorized as revealing a State secret. Catching and punishing gunmen is more the responsibility of the education authorities." he said.

"Sometimes we hear reports about advertisements on campus seeking gunmen, but we have no right to take any solid measures against those involved," said Xu Laiyong, vice-director of the Shanghai Municipal Educational Examinations Authority. "What we can do is catch the gunmen right on the spot and then report their conduct to their universities, or working units if they have jobs." But given the increasingly advanced technology of the gunmen, very few of them are caught red-handed at exams in Shanghai.

As for the rampant gunman websites which have already become the most popular way to expand the business, they are the responsibility of information authorities. When one phenomenon falls under the jurisdiction of too many different government sectors, it usually becomes difficult to control, experts said.

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Awash in dialects, China relies on Mandarin as common tongue - but how common is it?
By Christopher Bodeen ASSOCIATED PRESS 9:58 a.m. December 4, 2004
SHANGHAI, China. Thousands of years of Chinese linguistic heritage have come down to this: a squabble over Tom and Jerry.

Dubbed into regional Chinese dialects, the warring cat and mouse have been huge TV hits - and a good way to pass home-grown culture down to the younger generation, programmers say.

Not so fast, says the central government up north in Beijing, which for decades has promoted standard Mandarin as the only Chinese language worthy of the airwaves. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has ordered an end to broadcasting in dialect, saying kids should be raised in a "favorable linguistic environment."

The move has put Tom and Jerry - or "Cat and Mouse," as the show is called here - at the center of a long-running debate about how to maintain national cohesion amid a linguistic sea of highly distinct regional accents, dialects, and wholly separate language groups.

"As an artist, I think dialect should be preserved as a part of local culture," says Zhang Dingguo, deputy director of the Shanghai People's Comedy Troupe which does Tom and Jerry in Shanghainese. "Schools don't allow Shanghainese to be spoken, and now TV doesn't either. It looks like Shanghai comedy will be dying out," he adds.

The government calls the Mandarin policy vital to promoting a common Chinese identity in this vast land of 1.3 billion people, 56 ethnic groups and seven main Chinese dialects spoken by the Han ethnic majority. "Thank you" is pronounced "xie xie" in Beijing, "do jey" in Hong Kong, and "sha zha" in Shanghai. Need to know a price? Ask "wa tsui gim" in Fujian, but "duoshao qian," in Mandarin-speaking northern China.

The pronunciation of Chinese surnames can induce mild identity crisis. Mr. Xu (pronounced "shoe") in northern China becomes Mr. Ko in Fujian, which itself is called Hokkien in the local dialect.

Promotion of Mandarin - known here as "putonghua," or "common tongue" - began in the 1920s and became policy in 1955, six years after the communists seized power. Its use has been encouraged through an unending series of social campaigns, including the current one featuring TV presenter Wang Xiaoya on billboards exhorting Shanghainese to "speak Mandarin ... be a modern person."

In the latest campaign, Shanghai city officials are being required to attend classes on perfecting their pronunciation, schools are nominating contestants in city-wide Mandarin speech contests and foreigners are being invited to Mandarin classes.

Totally distinct from Chinese, the languages of minority groups such as Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians are officially recognized and taught in schools. Important documents are translated into major minority tongues and four of them - Tibetan, Mongolian, Uighur and Zhuang - appear on Chinese bank notes.

Chinese dialects are based on the same system of writing. That means Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong can enjoy subtitled Mandarin movies and Mandarin-speakers can order off Chinese menus in the far west of the country. Rising incomes, greater travel freedom and the spread of education are also helping to break down linguistic barriers. Yet no one is predicting they'll dissolve entirely - or soon.

"Many parts of China are heading for a situation of what linguists call diglossia, where there is one 'high' or public language ... and one 'low' or local language that is used among friends and family," said Stevan Harrell, an expert on Chinese languages at the University of Washington.

Use of dialects may even be strengthening in some areas with strong local identities, sometimes for economic reasons. In Guangzhou (that's Mandarin for the great southern city of Canton), broadcasters are allowed to speak Cantonese to compete with the nearby Hong Kong stations. In places like Guangzhou and Shanghai, prevalence of the local dialect helps exclude outsiders from social networks that are key to securing good jobs and entry to better schools. Outsiders say it smacks of bigotry.

"If you want to find a good job and be a success in Shanghai, you have to speak Shanghainese. Even if you do, they can pick you out by your accent and discriminate against you," said Steven Li, an accounting student flying home to the western city of Chongqing.

Preservation, not exclusion, was the purpose of Tom and Jerry in dialect, said Zhang, the producer. "You've got Shanghainese kids who can't even speak Shanghainese," he complains. "I have friends who've moved to Shanghai and want to learn the language to better integrate into local society. "Isn't watching TV easier than studying textbooks?"

Zhang cites semilegal Shanghainese broadcasting that pops up on local radio as evidence of continued demand for dialect programming. For now, Tom and Jerry will continue in Shanghainese on video, along with other versions in close to a dozen dialects. Oddy enough, Tom and Jerry didn't speak in the original cartoons, so the dialect versions give them voices they never had.

Despite support for dialects, Mandarin's influence reaches deep. Speaking the language well is considered a sign of good breeding and education. And because China has bound use of Mandarin so closely to the idea of national unity, promotion of other dialects can sometimes be seen as insulting if not traitorous.

Self-governing Taiwan's efforts to promote its local dialect have been angrily denounced in Beijing as "anti-Chinese." Even at an entertainment awards show in Shanghai, Chinese reporters drown out Hong Kong celebrities speaking in Cantonese with exasperated shouts of "speak Mandarin."

The annual meeting of China's legislature is a jamboree of regional accents and languages. Delegates, including Tibetans, Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong and Macau and Turkic Uighurs from Xinjiang in the remote northwest, struggle to make themselves understood in Mandarin. Other delegates and Chinese reporters strain to understand.

The farther from Beijing, though, the tougher communication becomes. In the bazaar in Minfeng, a town deep in the Xinjiang desert, ethnic Chinese strain to understand Turkic Uighurs' thickly accented, broken Mandarin.

"Every Uighur student who comes here has already learned Chinese in elementary school. Their levels vary wildly, but they can all understand it at certain levels," says Li Qiang, principal of Middle School No. 1 in Korla, a town in central Xinjiang. But, he allows, "We sometimes need to work very hard to understand each other."

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Murdering the English language, George W Bush-style
Pakistan News Wire. Saturday January 15, 2005 (0437 PST)

With only a week to go before George W Bush is sworn in for a second term as president of the United States of America, aka the land of colour-coded terror alerts (yellow alerts, orange alerts, red alerts, etc.), it would be instructive to recall some of the things he said during the initial months of his first term in office.

I say instructive because whatever else may have changed in the four years since then, one thing that has not changed is Bush’s proclivity for murdering the English language whenever he is trapped into making off-the-cuff remarks (as opposed to speaking from cue cards or teleprompter text written by his staff). Consider.

Referring to how far the United States would be willing to go to defend Taiwan, Bush said on the Good Morning America television show on April 25, 2001: "Whatever it took to help Taiwan defend their self."

Talking about trade between the United States and Canada, at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City on April 21, 2001, Bush said, "It’s very important for folks to understand that when there’s more trade, there’s more commerce." If he hadn’t said so, we would never have known.

Declining to answer reporters’ questions at that same summit meeting, he said he wouldn’t do so in any language, "neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican." It didn’t seem to matter to him that there is no such language as "Mexican."

People in Mexico speak Spanish, of course, as even Bush should have known given the fact that he speaks Spanish himself, or Spanish of sorts at any rate, having learned to speak it at school in Texas, a state that shares a long border with Mexico and has a large Spanish-speaking population.

Addressing students at Concord Middle School in Concord, North Carolina on April 11, 2001, Bush said, "I think we’re making progress. We understand where the power of this country lay. It lays in the hearts and souls of Americans. It must lie in our pocketbooks. It lays in the willingness for people to work hard. But as importantly, it lays in the fact that we’ve got citizens from all walks of life, all political parties, that are willing to say, I want to love my neighbour." So if you’ve been wondering about the source of America’s power, now you know.

Speaking about tax cuts in Washington on April 10, 2001, Bush said, "The Senate needs to leave enough money in the proposed budget to not only reduce all marginal rates, but to eliminate the death tax, so that people who build up assets are able to transfer them from one generation to the next, regardless of a person’s race." Just what a person’s race has to do with taxes or assets, Bush did not say.

Speaking at the Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner in Washington on March 29, 2001, Bush said, "I’ve coined new words, like, misunderstanding and Hispanically." He may have coined the word "Hispanically," but somebody really ought to tell him that the word misunderstanding has been around for a very long time.

Addressing a press conference in Washington on March 29, 2001, Bush said, "And we need a full affront on an energy crisis that is real in California and looms for other parts of our country if we don’t move quickly." A "full affront" on the energy crisis! The mind boggles.

At a photo opportunity with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Washington on March 20, 2001, Bush said, "I assured the prime minister, my administration will work hard to lay the foundation of peace in the Middle (sic) - to work with our nations in the Middle East, to give peace a chance. Secondly, I told him that our nation would not try to force peace, that we’ll facilitate peace and that we’ll work with those responsible for a peace." That’s very reassuring, indeed, and "peace in the Middle" (sic) can now only be a question of time.

Bush went one better than this on the subject of peace at a media roundtable conference in Washington on March 13, 2001 when he said, "But the true threats to stability and peace are these nations that are not very transparent, that hide behind the - that don’t let people in to take a look and see what they’re up to. They’re very kind of authoritarian regimes. The true threat is whether or not one of these people decide, peak of anger, try to hold us hostage, ourselves; the Israelis, for example, to whom we’ll defend, offer our defences; the South Koreans." You can make of that what you like. Personally, I think its gibberish. Make that Grade-A gibberish.

Under the American constitution, the president is also commander-in-chief of US military forces. For all his macho tough talk, however, Bush evidently doesn’t know that a soldier is a trooper, not a troop. Addressing military personnel at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida on March 12, 2001, he said, "I do think we need for a troop to be able to house his family."

After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, Bush said, "This terrorism will not stand." In saying this, Bush was echoing his father’s words. Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Bush Senior had said, "This aggression will not stand."

In an interview with the Washington Post on March 9, 2001, Bush Junior said, "I suspect that had my dad not been president, he’d be asking the same question. How’d your meeting go with so-and-so?...How did you feel when you stood up in front of the people for the State of Union Address - state of the budget address, whatever you call it." State of the Union Shunion...Budget Shudget - evidently, it’s all one and the same thing as far as Dubya is concerned.

There are many conflicting views about the death penalty in America. But Bush seems to think that it is somehow connected in some way to (wait for it) agriculture, of all things. Speaking at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 28, 2001 (the same Omaha to which he fled on September 11, 2001, after the attacks on New York and Washington) Bush said, "Those of us who spent time in the agricultural sector and in the heartland, we understand how unfair the death penalty is."

And if that leaves you baffled, consider this: Addressing Congress on February 27, 2001, Bush said, "My pan (sic) plays down an unprecedented amount of our national debt." His "pan"! Again, the mind boggles. Make that, BOGGLES.

Talking to reporters about the federal budget in Washington on February 5, 2001, Bush said, "The budget caps were busted, mightily so. And we are reviewing with people like Judd Gregg from New Hampshire and some other budgetary reform measures that will reinstate - you know, possibly reinstate budgetary discipline. But the caps no longer - the caps, I guess they’re there. But they didn’t mean much." Maybe they didn’t mean much, but, then, neither did Bush.

Following Islamabad’s pledge to cooperate with the United States in the Bush administration’s "war on terrorism," President Bush waived the Glenn, Symington and Pressler sanctions against Pakistan.

The move came as no surprise given Bush’s views on sanctions in general. Speaking at a press conference at the White House on February 22, 2001, he said, "I have said that the sanctions regime is like Swiss cheese - that meant that they weren’t very effective." Ineffective Swiss cheese! Whatever will Bush think of next?

Speaking at a school in Townsend, Texas on February 21, 2001, Bush came out with a truly amazing pronouncement. "You teach a child how to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test," he said.

Speaking at the Nalle Elementary School in Washington on February 9, 2001, he said, "One reason I like to highlight reading is, reading is the beginnings of the ability to be a good student. And if you can’t read, it’s going to be hard to realise dreams; it’s going to be hard to go to college." It most certainly is!

A pet expression of Bush’s is: "Make no mistake about it..." He has used it on numerous occasions since the 9/11 attacks. But this was a favourite phrase of his even before the attacks. Speaking to reporters in Washington on February 7, 2001, he said, "We’re concerned about AIDS inside our White House...make no mistake about it."

Then, there was what he said in Washington on January 11, 2001, nine days before he was sworn in as president: "I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a result-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that’s responsive to the child and to parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be - a literate country and a hopefuller country."

A "hopefuller" country? Ye gods! Perhaps the White House should arrange a special screening for Bush of the 1960 movie "My Fair Lady," in which Professor Henry Higgins bemoans "the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue."

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English, a language you have to learn?
A casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that the first English phrase learners are taught in Shanghai is, "My English is poor." But as Shanghai is forced into contact with the English-speaking world, fluency in English is perceived to be not just advantageous but even necessary for a lucrative career. No surprise then that with demand growing faster than supply, English language training means big money for the trainers as well as the students

http://news3.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-04/01/content_1396207.htm (That's Shanghai)


Why Western Teachers Are Revered Here
... Did the foreign teachers deserve it? A few did but not all. Once a foreign teacher asked me a question about voiced sounds and voiceless sounds just before he began his English conversation class. On the page he had to teach, ....

http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200403/kt2004033119393744470.htm


Making English Work / No perfect route to fluency
Regular reading in English and acceptance of imperfection are the keys to becoming proficient in the language, according to Megumi Nishimura, who teaches English at Wiz English Academy, a school she established in Nagoya seven years ago."I read a lot of English paperbacks, skipping the words I didn't know. I ignored these unfamiliar words, but I didn't skip any pages. I guessed the meaning of words from the context and read on,"

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20040326wob2.htm


Communist China moves to make private property a constitutional principle
Communist China is changing its constitution to embrace the most basic tenet of capitalism, protecting private property rights for the first time since the 1949 revolution.

China's parliament is meeting in an annual session starting Friday to endorse the change, already approved by Communist Party leaders who tout privatization as a way to continue the country's economic revolution and help tens of millions of poor Chinese.

It will bring China's legal framework in line with its market-oriented ambitions by providing a constitutional guarantee for entrepreneurs, once considered the enemy of communism but now pivotal in generating jobs and wealth.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/03/02/international1418EST0675.DTL

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