Sun, Nov 21, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Bush must uphold values

Should US President George W. Bush betray the moral values his voters supported him for, he would have no leg to stand on. Not only will he fail to win back the "other half" of Americans who voted for Kerry and thereby achieve national unity, he would also lose "this half" of Americans who supported him. He would then be a complete failure.

Taking this context to Taiwan, Bush must not lose sight of freedom, democracy, God and family in dealing with China. Americans from the heartland to metropolises, are not keen on or easily intimidated by bullies, whether they be Nazis, Russians or North Koreans.

Bush will not need to run in another election, yet his legacy will remain. His legacy is to shape the US at the beginning of the 21st century.

His biggest mandate in this election is loud and clear: uphold American values, Mr. President; do not lose them in the Taiwan Strait.

Chen Ming-chung

Chicago, Illinois

Don't require early English

Parents in Taiwan believe that English is crucial for their children's future, and also believe schools should start English "as early as possible." ("Parents believe in English," Nov. 16, page 2). But starting early may not be the best way to help children acquire English proficiency.

Studies show that older children acquire language skills faster than younger children. Thus, starting later (eg, at grade three or grade four instead of kindergarten or grade one) is more efficient. It also means more time to develop a solid foundation in Chinese.

Studies show that those who have a better education in the first language make better progress in developing a second.

Cynthia Wu is correct when she emphasizes the importance of not cutting back on Chinese language classes in order to squeeze in more English.

I would not forbid early English, but I think it is a mistake to require it.

Stephen Krashen

Professor Emeritus

University of Southern California

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