Wednesday 20 January 2016

Learning to speak in Mandarin

I have been contemplating to send Doll for Chinese enrichment classes. It doesn't help that all of her group of friends are already attending Chinese classes and she is the only who isn't.
Yes, I feel the stress.
Yet, I am hesitating. As it is already, she has 3 leisure classes on her plate, piano, art and ballet- all of which she asked for. To add another class onto her schedule, just doesn't sit well with me. Somehow or rather, I just don't feel good packing her off to academic learning classes.
I have not quite made up my mind yet, but as of this school term, I have decided not to send her. I may send her in the next term or the next or maybe next year. We shall see.
In the meantime, I am doing what I can to get her to pick up mandarin.
I am happy that she can already recognise a sizable number of mandarin words. She can read simple sentences. I am grateful that she picks up mandarin words relatively easily and makes my job a lot more simpler.
Her teacher says she is one of the quickest when it comes to reading the words but we have to brush up on her spoken mandarin.
So, my next task is to get her to speak in Mandarin. I try to speak to her at home but I mostly have to do an immediate translation in English. Sheesh.
What do I do?
Since she already knows quite a few words from her reading, I decided to use what she knows to get her speak in Mandarin.
For instance, She can read the above sentences. So in my day to day I would ask her "你会读吗" (Do you know how to read?) and she would answer " 我会读". Or I would ask her " 你会飞吗" and she would say " 我 不会飞"。
Since she already knows the word "爱" and "吃", I would spontaneously ask her "你爱吃菜吗" or " 你爱吃面包吗" to which she replies "我不爱吃菜" or " 我不爱吃面包"。
Another set of words she knows, so again I'd ask her "你有书包吗" she would say "我有书包".
Or "你喜欢红色吗" and her response would be " 我不喜欢红色".
I don't dictate her answers, she does it  on her own based on the words she already knows.
There are more words she knows and I would use those words whenever I can.
I know it is relatively simple. She cannot speak anything more than outside the text she has learnt. Still, it is a step forward, I will take this better than nothing!
A step at a time, we shall get there!