Many smart people don’t speak English

One day MM came home and reported that he has two “reading buddies.”  MM’s elementary school has this wonderful system where the 3rd graders read to the kindergarteners, the 4th graders read to the first graders and so on.  According to MM, his original reading buddy doesn’t speak English very well, so he has another 4th grad kid accompany him and they both read to MM.  I asked MM, “If this kid is not good at English, he must be good at other languages. What language is he good at?”  MM went “He is very smart in Spanish and he tought me some words.” MM later said, “Nai Nai (MM’s Taiwanese grandmother) is very smart in Chinese, even she can not speak English. Opa and Oma don’t speak English very well but they are very smart in Deutsche.”  MM continued to list more people he knows.   When he said that, I was very touched.  I am  not sure if this is a direct result of us raising him to be trilingual or the diverse community we live in.  I’d like to believe that when children speak more than one languages, it will help them see the world from different perspectives. Maybe it will also help them to be more tolerant and open-minded.

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One response to “Many smart people don’t speak English

  1. I need to read this story together with my daughter AZ, she sometimes thinks speaking English is the coolest thing in the “whole wide world”. I have to keep telling her this world, even our own community, is not monolingual.

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