Once upon a time our two oldest children spoke only Chinese and it was really cute. But ever since I taught my eldest to read, his Chinese speaking skills immediately began sinking. Eventually it got harder and harder to keep up with Chinese, and now it’s practically non-existent in our house nowadays. Sad, but true.
But the story doesn’t end there. We are currently revisiting our Chinese language skills because after all, our kids are ethnically Chinese. Their grandparents all speak Chinese. I believe speaking another language other than English is beneficial, so at this juncture, we’re determined to drill more Chinese into our kids’ vocabularies. Today was the new beginning where I started speaking Chinese to them. English now takes the backseat. So, how did the kids do?
When I told my four-year-old in Chinese to go pee, she froze and just stood there. Her face said it all. Completely dumbfounded, lost, and clueless. She could tell I was giving her a command but she had no idea what I was asking her to do. Finally, I repeated the command in English and immediately comprehension was in the air.
Later I told my three-year-old to get me her milk in Chinese, she returned quickly with a CD. CD, milk, they’re all the same to her. At least she obeyed my command of “go get. . . . ”
When I spoke to my five-year-old in Chinese, he just giggled. It sounded funny to him. He understood the language, but not having spoken to for such a long time, the language sounded funny to him.
My seven-year-old is the most adaptable since he had the most language exposure. He was able to reply to me in Chinese. Now, that made me happy.
So, we still have ways to go with the kids. We are now transforming our household (back) into a Chinese speaking household to the best of our ability. I’m looking forward to receiving my newest Chinese curriculum purchase.