Family Language Alive - Children Learning Chinese

Situation #2.8: China is going to be the next economic giant in the world and I really want my child to learn Chinese so that she can have the best opportunities in the future…

September 26, 2010

2.8 Main Article

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Situation #2.8: China is going to be the next economic giant in the world and I really want my child to learn Chinese so that she can have the best opportunities in the future.Reality: There is no doubt that China is experiencing a fast-growing economic prosperity and Americans have certainly recognized that. There has been a 200% increase in the number of Chinese programs offered in school between 2005 and 2008. Over 44 states now offer some kinds of Chinese language programs in the K-12 schools. Globalization is a fact from which no one can escape. And with it come opportunities and advantages that only a select few will be able to take. And those who know Chinese will unquestionably be ahead of the game.

You need to be aware that learning a language where the language itself is a minor language in the region does pose much effort on the child’s end, not to mention yours. You may want to review whether this is your only objective for taking your child and yourself onto this time- and effort-consuming endeavor. There will definitely be struggles and oppositions along the journey. Families have been found to quit too soon and too hastily because this is the only reason they have, and it is not a strong enough one to keep them afloat. Only you know what is best for your own family. Even though everything is in favor for your child to learn Chinese, if this becomes a constant misery for both your child and your family, you may need to reconsider your priority.

Considerations:

  • Are there other goals why I want my child to learn Chinese?
  • Are the primary household family members (e.g. spouse, grandparents living at home) in line with the same reason that my child is learning Chinese? How can I bring everyone to a similar understanding of my view?
  • What if another country rises up to be the next economic giant in the future, would that affect what I have chosen today as my child’s language to learn?
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October 18, 2015

Why Are Our Kids Learning Chinese and How to Fit Everything Else In?

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Most parents want their children to have the best exposure to everything in life. After all, we desire the best for them. But there is only that much daylight hours. How can we be effective in what we do?

Before we dive into the actual journey of our child learning Chinese, or even if we are already in the midst of it, we cannot lose sight and forget why we were there in the first place. Perhaps there has never been even a thought of having a reason for starting it. After all, learning Chinese has long been regarded as important by the world. So it just happens to be on the list of many family’s mission.

Having a family vision, therefore, is necessary. Learning Chinese should not be a standalone mission that has no connection with the rest of our value and goal in life. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless and detached, as can be with the acquisition of many academic subjects. We can easily lose sight of our aim. Moreover, the process becomes destination-based rather than process-based. We and our children can easily get burned out and we may never reach our goal, if there was any in the first place.

 

Alice

Action:
• Make a chart of goals undertaken and to be taken in your family and the child’s life and the time and effort in each.
• How does Chinese learning stand in priority when placed with other family vision and goals?
• Discuss and re-prioritize with your family members, not just on your own. We need support from them, including the child.

Check out more reflective questions here.

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