Can you teach Chinese? | Language Power 蓝格子, 跑啊!

Growing up, I was taught to understand how Chinese writing evolved from pictorial representations of things and how some words and phases arose from wisdom about things, recorded by people who lived a very very long time ago. These things made the language interesting to me, it was more than just a subject in school because of the way I was taught and exposed to it. I believe the same is possible for Joy. I want to make it happen for her.

We made a conscious decision to raise Joy in a predominantly Mandarin speaking environment at home, since she would grow up in an English speaking environment when she goes to school. She also learns through singing a good mix of both Mandarin and English songs with me. This way, she would become effectively bilingual. One of the reasons why I like her current pre-school so much is because her mandarin teachers in pre-school speaks very good and proper mandarin, much better than my sometimes localised version.

I am happy with the outcome so far, Joy speaks good mandarin. For example, she knows that “Wet wipes” should be called “湿纸巾” in Mandarin, that closing your eyes is not “关眼睛” but “闭眼睛”, that pre-school is not “学校” but “幼儿园” and that a bath towel is not “毛巾” but “浴巾”. She also picks it up when others pronounce a word wrongly and tries to correct them sometimes. Detailed things like that.

As we have had good success, I initially declined when a good friend asked if I would like to review a talk “Language Power” (phonetically translated to “蓝格子,跑啊!”) by speaker, Eeva Chang. She advised me to look carefully again at what the talk would cover before making a confirmed decision. I’m glad I did, because I changed my mind.

(Topic points are originally in Chinese, English versions are my attempt to translate)

1。我会让你看见 你是否有语言力量?
Do you have language power?

2。你会体会到, 你的孩子或自己是否用了最好的方式与语言相处?
Are you or your child using the most optimal method for language development?

3。我们会一起明白, 在新加坡学习语文真的如此痛苦吗?
Is it really so difficult to learn languages in Singapore?

4。你有机会听见自己是如何在”运用”着自己的声音能量和语文能量。
How are you really using your voice and language ability?

5。你的家庭语言和学校语言到了几年级开始分道扬镳?
At which point in primary school does your family language level start to show disparity with the school’s language level

6。我们的社会是个语言视觉化的社会吗?
Is our society one that is sensitive or perceptive about languages?

7。为什么语言视觉化可以让人的理解度大大提升?
How does sensitivity or perceptiveness to language increase one’s level of understanding greatly?

8。新加坡的小学生最直白的心里话,在那天会告诉你。
What do primary school children really think (about languages)?

9。语言是遗传还是学习来的?
Is language inherited or learnt?

10。你知道,我们一直在违反语言学习的黄金定律吗?
Did you know that, all along, we might have been going against the golden rule of language learning?

Some of these topic points are subjective of course, but they really got me thinking. Although we might still have some time to go until I can’t teach Joy the language effectively anymore, I can’t be sure I can gear up well enough to teach her as her language power increases. I rather start now especially since the speaker at this talk is the very experienced Broadcaster cum Educator, Eeva Chang.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Language Power 蓝格子, 跑啊!

If you do know her, you must know what she is well known for but if you don’t, you can read my friend, Lynn’s very good summary of her background here or my friend, Jenn / her son’s experience interacting with her / learning from her here, here and here. Personally, I find that the charisma and confidence that she has in the Chinese language is infectious, watch the video below and you’ll get it.

I’m very interested to learn from her because of the topic points. If you’d like to know how to help your child in the Chinese language as well, here are details of the talk.

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Language Power 蓝格子, 跑啊!

Date: 20 September 2014
Time: 3-5pm
Venue: Resort World Theatre (Sentosa)
Ticketing: $58/$78/$98. You may purchase your tickets from Sistic here or direct from Rediffusion by calling 62883321 to save booking fees.

You can also look out for more updates and information on her Facebook page here.

Disclosure: I was gifted with a ticket to attend the talk and learn but all opinions are my own.

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