Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jul 23, 2010

Don’t Shortchange Your Children By Depriving them of Being Bilingual

Filed under: Education — admin @ 12:14 am

While I was walking early on the morning of 6/27, I was listening to a book on confronting business reality. When the book hit the topic of outsourcing to China, I thought of some incidents related to Chinese language.

First, I learned of a Chinese parent talking about making his children learn Chinese. “They are going to work here in U.S. Unless they will work as Chinese interpreters, what’s the use of learning Chinese?” This is the first time I hear of such an excuse of not bringing bilingual kids in a Chinese family here in U.S. I have seen cases where Chinese parents painfully struggle to communicate with their adolescent kids in English, being shamefully looked down upon by the children whose only means of communication in their Chinese family is English. The children have every reason to shame their parents, because the parents’ English is so embarrassingly outlandish, after having stayed in the country for so many years.

Second, I heard some internet software companies started turning to China for outsourcing their developer job. It would be a big help if the company can communicate with the Chinese developers in Chinese. In other words, Chinese are gradually becoming both partners and colleagues of the American companies. How can one say knowing Chinese is not relevant to one’s job. You can say the same thing to people working at any fast food restaurant in KC but cannot speak Spanish because most of his colleagues speak Spanish.

Finally, language is an instrument. The more instruments that we have mastered, the better positioned we are in facing the global challenge. It is especially attractive when children can master this instrument effortlessly by simply growing up in this language environment.

I deem it a waste of resource, an opportunity lost and even an unfair shortchange to the children if their Chinese parents fail to bring up bilingual children. Alas, by the end of the day, it takes some wisdom to be a good parent.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress