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

1, Jul 3, 2010

Teaching More Than the Language to Chinese Children

Filed under: Education — admin @ 12:34 am

On May 8, a beautiful Saturday, we went to a friend’s house for a dinner gathering. As usual, we parents were chatting over dinner table while the kids had their fun upstairs.

One topic that struck me as very interesting, that is, teaching Chinese to the next generation and enhancing parent-children relationship.

Many Chinese parents, in an attempt to assimilate their children into mainstream American culture, insist on English-only environment at their Chinese homes and thus deprive the youngsters the opportunity to learn Chinese while they were young.

I learned of the wretched experience of a Chinese father. He is one of those unwise parents, engaging in nothing but English with his daughter when the girl was little. Now his teenager daughter turns away from him because she cannot speak Chinese and his English sounds too outlandish, rudimentary and outrightly embarrassing to her. The combination of generation gap and cultural gap tears the two apart to an irreparable point. Now vainly the sad old dad cries over spilled water. It is not funny to witness the scene.

Their first home provides the only Chinese language environment for these ABC children. With a large part of their waking hours being exposed to English environment, the Chinese parents really don’t have much chance of raising bilingual second generation ABCs.

Here’s the key to keep in mind — if Chinese parents do not go out of way to teach Chinese to their youngsters, they not only deprive the kids of the chance of being bilingual but also run the risk of alienating themselves from their English-speaking children. Remember it is no use to cry over spilled water.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Mom Write ยป Teaching More Than the Language to Chinese Children […]

    Pingback by The Oddest — 1, Jul 3, 2010 @ 9:20 am

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