All the people in our house are "bananas". When I said bananas, it means that we are Chinese but we can't really speak Mandarin. We are all english educated.
Me. Hubby. Sisters. Parents. Parents-in-laws. Sister-in-law. Everyone.
But hubby & I have decided to send Shern to a Chinese primary school. But we speak English to Shern at home. So how is he going to adapt?
This is our plan: Speak English to Shern at home. Send him to a Chinese-speaking nursery and kindy, and hope that he can pick up Mandarin there. Then send him to a Chinese primary school. And maybe send him for Chinese tuition.
My worry now is whether will this work? Will he be able to cope?
Will he be able to blend in with the other fluent-chinese-speaking friends?
Will he be able to do understand enough to complete his homework?
Our rational for sending him to a Chinese school is this - no matter how bad his English language may be, it will still be better than our Chinese language.
And furthermore China is really big now. I don't want Shern to lag behind just because he can't speak Mandarin like his parents.
Being a mum has so much worries. This is just 1/1000 worries I have for Shern.
lots of people doing/did this, and it seems to work well for them. but i must say that it didnt work well for my bro. chinese schools really makes it very hard for young kids, and the fact that our family couldnt really help my bro with his studies during primary days made it even worse for him. it really robbed the joy of learning for him... which had repercussions for years. finally in Form 4 we moved him to a private international school. like wangwei, my bro has now forgotten much of his chinese since not using it anymore.
i guess it is harder for boys...since usually boys are more playful during younger days.
i have another friend who has a son and couldnt cope too. so they changed him to a kebangsaan school in primary 4.
sigh...so does that mean that i should not do it for shern?
China may be a big market, but remember that those China buggers are pressing more on English now as we speak. In fact, some of them have better command of English compared to some Malaysians. I'm not saying don't do it, but the fact that everyone stresses that China is huge doesn't necessarily mean one should give up having good English, coz trust me, that's not good at all.
I believe I have shared how I learn Chinese with you and to me, it has worked well. At least I know enough to not get cheated by those China buggers at work. But that's me. It may have worked for me but may not have worked for another person. Yes I admit that Chinese is super important, but for me, English is still the international language. So yea.
I'm sure you'll be able to figure this out and do what's right for Shern.
I'm chinese educated but I don't speak chinese to Eunice. How ironic. My hubby and I converse mainly in English too. But I will send Eunice to chinese school at least for her primary school. Future is unknown, just give it a try first. Who knows maybe Shern can adapt to it well. :)
Hmm... maybe you shouldn't think that sending your children to Chinese school simply because China is big and/or Mandarin has a great potential in future :)
We learn Mandarin not just because it's a communication (or commercial? hehe) tool. Like it or not, it's our culture and it's our root :)
Instead of just telling your children learning Mandarin is good for his/her future, we should encourage them to explore and appreciate their own identity, culture and language :)
Bilingual may or may not work. To me, it's depends on we handle this. But I must suggest you and your husband to pick up your Mandarin too. Letting him to handle the Mandarin class at school alone is not a good idea. Learn with him, work hard with him. At least he won't feel "being dump" when come to Mandarin :)
If i decide to send Shern to kebangsaan school, then i hope he will be able to at least speak and understand some Chinese like u do. And not like his dad totally can't speak Chinese. :)
Altho u speak English to Eunice at home, but at least when she comes back fr school with her Chinese homework, you can still help her. That's already way better than us.
Hie...you are? :)
Anyway, I find your advice really good and insightful.
I've always love being Chinese and I want Shern to be proud to be a Chinese and learn about its culture, etc.
And yes, maybe hubby & I should sign up for Mandarin classes.
Thanks so much.
Just FYI if you are interested, Astro AEC 301 Channel (every Sunday 9pm) has a very meaningful program called "Stories of SJKC", or direct translate from Mandarin: "I'm from SJKC". There are interviews from parents, students, teachers, foreigners, non-Chinese and also Eng-ed parents. You'll get to know more about the Chinese school in this program :)
Oh btw, I'm just a kepo guy who drop-by and write some "kepo" comments when I'm free to kepo. Let me be anonymous, may I? :P
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