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Years of learning Mandarin pay off for varsity student

Malaysian student Muha­mad Shahmeer Mohd Nash­rul’s years of studies in a Chinese school paid off when he shone on the global stage here, thanks to his fluent Mandarin. The accounting undergraduate of Universiti Teknologi Mara came in second among more than 100 students in the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, the biggest of such contests worldwide. He also won the Excellent Elo­quence award in the competition held in Changsha, China’s Hunan province, on Saturday. The 22-year-old from Penang returned with a trophy and a scholarship to study in China. He was only seven points behind the winner, a student from Sudan. “I am very happy. Thank you t

Bilingual Babes: Teach Your Child A Second Language

When Louise Sanders adopted her daughter, Camille, from Panama, she thought it was important to teach her about her heritage. So just before Camille turned 3, Louise enrolled her in a Spanish-language school in their Tucson, Arizona, community. Now, at 3 1/2, Camille loves to sing Spanish songs, and sometimes she even answers questions more quickly when her teachers ask her in Spanish rather than in English. "Kids this age are developing language skills rapidly, and they quickly absorb whatever they hear," says Erika Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech and language pathology at Columbia University Teachers College, in New York City. "They can learn to understand new words in two diffe

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