(Not so) Daily Musings – Teaching Chinese

Well, the plan is to actually just pen down random thoughts regarding Calvin every day, even if it’s just a line or two but I’d rather not put such high expectations on myself.

Recently, I’ve been rather inspired so besides my cooking projects, I’ve also decided to tackle teaching Calvin Chinese in earnest. After doing some research, I’ve changed my approach and I’ll now tell him both the English and Chinese words for whatever I’m talking about. Initially, I thought I should just talk entirely in Chinese but I think that’s rather difficult since he keeps asking me ‘What does that mean?”. At this stage, he barely knows two words in Chinese – 藍色, 冰淇淋, 熊, 兔子, 泡泡 (ok, that’s actually 5, not 2). Maybe I’ll try that tack again once he’s build up basic vocabulary. I guess it can’t be helped since we chose to let him learn English first instead of being bilingual from the start. One of the reasons being that his Chinese is only passable and I’ve barely spoken a word of Chinese since JC. The other was that being bilingual supposedly makes the child start to speak slower, not surprising since he/she will have to deal with double the number of words to learn and the fact that he/she has to differentiate between the two. We were more keen to have him be able to communicate to us as soon as possible since he can be quite stubborn about getting his way and not knowing exactly what ‘his way’ is certainly makes it difficult to deal with his tantrums.

All we want for him is to be able to converse in Chinese, be able to read simple Chinese books (or manga :D) and be able to pass if we decide to go back to Singapore. Imagine if his Chinese is so terrible that he has to go for those grueling and terrible Chinese tuition….shudder. I guess it would be such a shame if he didn’t learn it when we could have just taught him when he was younger and was able to pick up the language easily. This coming from his mum who knows 3 languages and 2 dialects. We’ll see how it goes. I’m still waiting for us to get a credit card so I can order more Chinese books for him to read.


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