Why Asians Excel Better at Math


Asian languages are far more advanced than most others found throughout the world. Asian people began to speak more words quicker than their North American counterparts. The average Chinese four-year-old can already count to 40, where the average American four-year-old can only count to 16.

The English language takes the average person to say a seven-number sequence seven to nine seconds. It takes the average person speaking Cantonese only three seconds to tell a seven-number series.

Asian languages allow them to speak quicker and more efficiently than other languages. The success of East Asian education systems lies in the way that math is taught in these countries.

For example, Japanese children are taught an 81-line jingle, called the Kuku, that teaches them the times table. All students learn it off by heart, quickly, even competing with each other. In adulthood, a Japanese person can recall that 7 x 7 = 49 simply because ‘seven seven forty-nine’ sounds right when sung.

In Chinese classrooms, the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ approach is favoured, where children sit in rows and are directly instructed by a teacher writing on a blackboard. Students are taught maths using rote memorization and repetition. In addition, Asians have a way shorter summer break than found here in the western world. The average school year consists of 180 days in the United States, whereas in South Korea, an average school year is 220 days; In Japan, they go to school for 243 days out of the year.



Book: Outliers: The Story of Success

Why Asians Excel Better at Math

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