Category Archives: raising multilingual children

We are going to Taiwan!

After  MM complaining Chinese is useless,  I also noticed another change — it has become harder for them to form complete sentences.  Their  listening comprehension is still good.  I continue to speak mandarin to them.  However, they have stopped wanting to speak on the phone with grand parents.    I think we are long overdue for a visit to Taiwan and see the grand parents.

I just bought the tickets and announce our pending travel plans to the children.  They are so excited!  I reminded them that we are going to speak Mandarin to Yeh Yeh (grand pa) and Nai Nai (grand ma) the whole time, and we’d better start practicing.   They all agreed.  MM even asked if they gets to go to schools in Taiwan.  mmm, that is not a bad idea. Unfortunately, we are only staying for two weeks.  Maybe next time we will stay longer and send them to summer camp.

I hope with the immersion environment, it will renew my children’s interest with Chinese.  I plan to take MM and AA to train stations and visit night markets.    This way, hopefully, MM will see how useful Chinese characters are.

I purchased the tickets and announced our travel plan to the children.

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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.