Letter to the Editor: Cantonese at Stanford May 26, 2017 0 Comments Share tweet Letters to the Editor By: Letters to the Editor To the Editor: I’m writing regarding the “Letter to the Editor: Cantonese at Stanford” written by the director of the Language Center in response to Samantha’s Wong article of May 5, 2017. The status of Cantonese is a complicated issue. As a concerned alum and the Cantonese instructor at Stanford, I feel obligated to respond to the Director’s statement in which she says: “To claim that Stanford refuses ‘to allow Cantonese to meet the foreign language requirement’ is false.” In recent years, this is what I have experienced regarding Cantonese and the foreign language requirement: In September 2013, I tested a freshman and was told by the associate director of the Language Center that no more students would be allowed to use Cantonese for the requirement. In June 2014, Samantha Wong emailed the Language Center about using Cantonese to place out of the requirement. The Language Center told her that only placement testing in Mandarin was offered. I didn’t know about her case until last April, when she came to interview me for her article about Cantonese at Stanford. In September 2016, another student’s request was brought to my attention by a new Student Services officer. I tried to make a case for the student and this is the response that I got from the same associate director who spoke to me in 2013: “This has come up before. We offer placement testing only in Standard Modern Chinese as a language to fulfill the university requirement.” The director states in her letter: “A student met the Stanford language requirement with Cantonese proficiency just three days ago.” The student was Samantha Wong, and this is Samantha’s version of how that happened in her article: “After writing this article, the Stanford Language Center offered to proctor the Stanford Chinese placement test for me, customized for Cantonese.” I am grateful that the director has spelled out the current Language Center’s policy in her letter and Cantonese is now allowed for the foreign language requirement. I sincerely hope we can all move forward from that basis. – Sik Lee Dennig Ph.D. ’92 Cantonese Instructor Cantonese 2017-05-26 Letters to the Editor May 26, 2017 0 Comments Share tweet Subscribe Click here to subscribe to our daily newsletter of top headlines.