A few weeks back, we taught Kai his Chinese name. He learnt the surname quickly but took some time with his given name. And this week, I asked him to write his name on a piece of paper to show his Chinese teacher. A couple of days later, he came home with this on the back of his colouring paper:
The surname was nicely written. The given name was not proportionate but the strokes were all correct. Needless to say, I was elated :)
This weekend, we have been discussing what to do with his Chinese. He's usually reluctant to speak Mandarin. We thought that we need to instil some interest in the language in him. So we started searching for enrichment classes. So many. So expensive. Waiting list for weekends so long!
While we decide on a class or workshop to send him, I think we can do more at home. We kind of started speaking more Mandarin to him a few weeks back but we haven't been too consistent. I guess for language, immersion is critical. So we need to adjust our own usage of the language. Mum suggested that Sito and I speak to each other in Mandarin. That's a start.
His Chinese teacher told us to just speak it, never mind if he doesn't seem to understand. During the curriculum briefing earlier this year, the Chinese teacher used this term 放声思考 - it's just "thinking out loud" but in Chinese :p It reminded me that perhaps I should just use Mandarin to articulate my thoughts, especially in the presence of the kids.
And, we're also thinking of bringing forward our trip to Taiwan! We were thinking of a trip next year just before Kai enters primary school. But if it's useful, as we have heard from friends (and even Sito voluntarily spoke more Mandarin upon returning from his Taiwan immersion!), we'll do it this AND next year!