Answer Key: Mandarin Won’t Be a Lingua Franca

Lesson Plan:  Chinese vs. English for Global Preeminence? Not Likely.

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1. sparked /spark spärk| verb-provide the stimulus for (a dramatic event or process): the severity of the plan sparked off street protests.
  2. Fluency |ˈflo͞oənsē| noun-the ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately: fluency in Spanish is essential.
  3. poses |pōz| verb-[ with obj. ] present or constitute (a problem, danger, or difficulty): the sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area.
  4. strategically/ strategic |strəˈtējik| adjective-carefully designed or planned to serve a particular purpose or advantage: alarms are positioned at strategic points around the prison.
  5. functional |ˈfəNGkSHənl|adjective-designed to be practical and useful; she had assumed the apartment would be functional and simple.
  6. inherently/ inherent |inˈhi(ə)rənt, adjective-existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute: any form of mountaineering has its inherent dangers | the symbolism inherent in all folk tales.
  7. egalitarian iˌgaləˈterēən| adjective-of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities: a fairer, more egalitarian society.
  8. viable |ˈvīəbəl|adjective-capable of working successfully; feasible: the proposed investment was economically viable.
  9. default |diˈfôlt| noun-a preselected option adopted when no alternative is specified ;the default is fifty lines | [ as modifier ] : default settings.
  10. dialect |ˈdīəˌlekt| noun-a particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group: this novel is written in the dialect of Trinidad.

 Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- Mark Zuckerberg made some remarks in Mandarin recently.
  2. NA-Zuckerberg’s children speak Mandarin.
  3. F- Fluency in Mandarin will always be helpful for foreigners doing business in China.
  4. T- English is the world’s bridge language.
  5. T- English is also the native language of shared popular culture – music, movies, even sports.
  6. T- By 2020 it’s estimated that  2 billion people will speak functional English.
  7. F- There is no gender in the English language.
  8. NA-English is a difficult language to master.
  9. T-Mandarin as an international language will never happen, for linguistic, economic, cultural, and political reasons.
  10. T-The French language was the last viable alternative.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage


English is an inherently neutral language.


Two billion people will speak functional English by 2020.


People in nations like the Philippines, Korea, and Japan are far more comfortable with America.