Monday, 5 March 2012

Love the Chinese language

Began my birthday morning by bringing Jazz to Berries trial class. I've been very keen about exciting her love for the Chinese language. It was after a chat with her school's Chinese teachers that I realised, I've not given her much focus on that language. She speaks mandarin only to my parents and to us, English, even though I attempt to converse in mandarin with her. She identifies parents equal to conversing in English. 

I asked her Chinese teachers if Jazz is able to converse in mandarin to them. They praised her, telling me how excellent and good her mandarin is, and well, you know preschool teachers always tell you how good your child is. They told me about her ability to recognise some characters and so I did a test that evening. I dug out some Chinese flash cards that I've bought some time ago, picked out the words she learnt in school and yes, she was able to read me: 大,小,人 and 口. That was when I knew, I've neglected her mother tongue, I lost her progress.

Most kids are usually comfortable with English, for it being the main teaching subject in preschools, primary and secondary schools. I thought, if I don't get her to fall in love with this language now, it would probably be difficult to introduce as she grows. Language ability is strong for kids below 7. Seriously, if I know of a third language, I would want her to be on it too. But I don't, and even if she learns a third, there's no one to converse with her at home.    

At berries today, she added 2 more words to her dictionary - 尺 and 笔. I sat through the trial with her, she wouldn't allow me to leave her for a second. The lesson began with some showing of flash cards on the characters that they've learnt in the previous lessons, after which they move on to the characters of the day. It was much drilling, through pictures, objects and songs that they introduce the new words into the kids memory. It works because Jazz remembers them after the lesson. It's very much of group based teaching (about 10 kids), with individual attention given only during practical time. The teacher would call upon each kid to complete a quick worksheet, while the rest of the kids will be on 'games', like what Jazz is doing in the pictures below. They also learn through songs and storytelling. It's a 1.5 hour lesson, which I find it pretty draining. The kids seemed to enjoy though, and they're all birthed in the same year as Jazz.

Matching the words and pictures
Human's face match
Characters of the day
After lesson, I asked if she enjoyed and if she would like to come again. She said yes to both questions, but I'm not sure if she's alright with attending the classes all by herself. Moreover, they don't have suitable classes for her on Sat. Isn't it pitiful to be 'schooling' on a Sunday. Maybe, think of it as fun, it should be fine. Shall see how, am checking around for suitable timing. For her N1 classes, fees at $359.50 for 12 weeks (Once a week). They've quite a number of centres island wide.

After the trial, I told the man, introducing her 2 words per week isn't a difficult task for me, I'm the academic department anyway. The challenge is keeping Jare out of our lesson area. He's a great distraction to us. Haha. The man said, tuitions and enrichment classes are largely for lazy parents. Hmm, yes and no, it depends. Social skill isn't what your kid can learn at home. So well, to home school or outsource? If you've the time, patience and creativity, you can always self teach. Prepare home made worksheets and you can give your child the sole attention during lesson time.

1 comment :

  1. All Hanbridge instructors are accredited language teachers, native speakers of Mandarin, and have obtained a Bachelor's or Master's Degree. in language. All have standard Mandarin pronunciation and have completed Hanbridge's rigorous training program.Most importantly, they are committed to and enthusiastic about teaching and have a passion to help people learn to speak Mandarin and learn about Chinese culture.



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