There Is A Potato In My Home

One fine day, Kor Kor declared that he disliked Chinese! I have noticed he often speaks English to everybody, even when he is engaging in pretend play with his toys. Didn’t expect such a firm and direct answer though. 

I am really flabbergasted. Both Hubby and I have consciously spoken Mandarin to all our children since they were born. Because we think Chinese is a much more difficult language than English, and hey, we have always been speaking Mandarin to each other, why change? We read Chinese books to them and we speak Mandarin among ourselves too, including my siblings, and the maternal and paternal grandparents. Yes we do read English books to the kids and they do watch DVDs in English. But they only get two hours of DVD a week, and the split between English and Chinese books/DVDs is about half-half…. So what happened??

My guess is, firstly English is really an easier language to grasp. Secondly, I have been rather lazy in speaking proper Mandarin recently, e.g. “我们去science centre” instead of “我们去科学馆”……


So now, I shall try to rectify the situation. There are so many English books on my to-read list for the children, such as the classics like Oliver Twist and Moby Dick (the Classic Starts versions, not the originals ok, not gonna kill myself), and favorites by Enid Blyton and E. B. White. But I am going to stop reading those to the kids. Stop buying them. Instead, I shall concentrate my time and effort on reading Chinese books. 

What I borrowed from library during my first visit after my new resolution


The boys are loving this – a good stepping stone. They have learnt a new 成语 “三头六臂”!


If I do come across good English books, I shall just leave them on Kor Kor’s desk and hope for the best.

OK, definitely not buying any English books for the children. Not for the rest of the year at least. Deep breath. 



Learning Without Teaching: English

A couple of months ago, Hubby and I observed that the boys, especially Didi, seemed to be really Cannot Make It in English. As in, totally catch no ball when someone speaks to them in English, and incapable of replying in English.

I wasn’t worried, but to reassure Hubby, we started conversing with the boys a bit more in English. We could see the results very quickly – within two weeks, both boys were at ease speaking and understanding English. There was no resistance to the language at all. Of course, it’s not like it was a completely new language to them – we have always been watching English DVDs and reading English books together.

Actually, I have never encountered anyone who is proficient in Chinese and weak in English, only the other way round. Whether it was my classmates from long ago or other kids nowadays, if they are good in Chinese, they are always good in English too. Conversely, if they usually only speak English, they are often struggling with Chinese, and might even be unhappy and unwilling when their parents try to expose them to more Chinese. True?

So, that’s my short post on learning English. By the way, I have cut back on that extra bit of English 😛