Q&A

Q: 你女兒的中文程度這麼好,那他們的英文程度呢?他們的中英文閱讀時間你是怎麼安排呢?謝謝

A: 大女兒ㄧ開始以中文為重,目標為七八歲前中文比英文強,才能流利都跟妹妹說中文。三年級後半開始加強英文(那時英文蠻爛的),花~三年時間把英文拉回同儕母語級,現在很喜歡看英文小說和寫作。

因有姊姊的中文教材及幫助,妹妹比姊姊同年紀時有較完整的中文環境。除中文寫作以外,小女兒中英文同等發展,中間差距較少。小女兒天賦不錯,跳一年念,英文閱讀寫作該跟同年學生差不多,但比大她一歲也資優的同年同學還差,但該會每年縮小差距。

女兒們吃早晚餐都會自己拿中文漫畫,小說來看,因文字不是障礙。我也會每星期撥些時間(~兩三個小時)給她們看中文故事書或小說。

在美國要小孩中英文都要夠強,兩個都需要。不是說就是要去上習班,而是需要有心及有學問人士來帶小孩克服些難關。可在7-8歲前以中文為重點,之後再英文。在家,女兒們的中英文由我負責,除指導以外,也替她們找中文家教(畢竟我只念到小五)。

依我的觀察,大學後才移民到美國的家長的英文會比較吃虧,因此他們可能比較不敢讓小孩慢點學好英文,所以小孩的中文學習可能會受影響,除非家長本身是在高中小學校就職,比較清楚美國的教育系統及教學。而本來是小留學生的父母(十二歲左右來的),因中英文都不錯,而且自己走過在美國學英文的路,比較不會擔心小孩英文不會學好,也比較能在適當的時間小孩的英文,所以可能比較敢放手讓小孩小時候多多學中文。

 

Q:請問你以前女兒小的時候,有要求她們寫字嗎? 還是一開始就花時間在認字閱讀呢?謝謝

A:基本寫字筆順從小都有訓練,課文單字也都有練習,現在要以背寫唐詩為主。大女兒明年暑假要以打字練習作文。

對在家有聽中文的華裔學生而言,我認為ㄧ開始同時注重中文閱讀及書寫是欠佳的。在三四年級時,能以閱讀中文漫畫或較有意思的故事書為娛樂是最重要的ㄧ節,不然就幾乎全被英文文學及多媒體拉了過去,大幅度的減低了對小孩而言學中文的實質意義(no relevancy)及興趣。因小孩事情也多,時間有限,我建議首先以認字閱讀及朗讀為主。到小說會念時,再來加強寫作(打的就可以了)。當閱讀朗讀多了,寫作自然會較好。可惜,在正規體系內為主的學習,都注重以寫功課或筆考來衡量成績及進度,影響大局。

9 thoughts on “Q&A

  1. 謝謝您的分享~
    不好意思想要請問一下~ 您所說的”補”, 是怎麼補呢?
    由家教挑教材嗎? 還是您自己選擇呢!?
    我知道很多人用 sage 500 著手, 那之後呢!? 用康軒嗎?
    我覺得最困難的如何有系統及記劃按 schedule 持之以恆
    平均來說~ 不知道每天的中文學習時間及英文學習時間是多少呢?
    我小孩在美國出生,現在一個四歲一個六歲
    中文聽說很不錯~也沒有甚麼腔調(可能因為每天用CD故事轟炸的關係)
    但是也到了開始學認字讀書的年紀了, 發現成果很不彰,
    最主要是因為不知道如何著手!? 東看一點西看一點繪本…好像都只是蜻蜓點水亂學
    不知道您有沒有甚麼建議!?
    不好意思麻煩您了

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment. ”補” = 要幫小孩加強語文的人用任何可行的教材來加強,依人而定,但學校課本朗讀念熟,順是最基本的,中英都ㄧ樣。
      康軒很好啊。台灣自修參考書很好用。我們都用台灣教材。
      要在國中前中文好,在~8歲前,小孩在中文環境中運用中文需占非睡眠~ㄧ半的時間。
      請看https://cebilingual.org/letter-to-parents/。看完後妳還有疑問可寫過來,我們可安排時間通個電話。

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      • Hi Oliver,
        I read the letter you drafted under the tag “letter-to-parent”. It is quite impressive that you can quantify the time your children spent on learning Chinese daily in a very logical way. I am an adult immigrant. However, given circumstances, I would give your “open the gap” strategy a try to see if my children can keep up Chinese learning, mainly, until they are roughly about 8-9 years old. Like you hiring a Chinese tutor, if they have difficulties catching up their English in the close-the-gap stage, I may try hiring an English tutor to help them as needed, as I don’t think I have that high level of confidence in teaching them English, compared to teaching them Chinese as your guess. I have been buying Chinese books crazy to increase their conversational vocabularies, including scientific/engineering encyclopedia (since they both can’t read yet). However, so far, I have not found a systematic way to teach them read/learn Chinese words on a regular basis. That is why I got anxious to find “right” and “good” materials to teach them to read/learn regularly since my older child is reaching to his 5-6 year old stage. It will stay on trying 康軒 first to see how it works out. Thank you again for your time and valuable suggestions and experience sharing with us. We will probably talk again soon. Thank you.

        Best,
        Grace

        As a side, I am buying this now, as it is relatively cheap, newer version, with reading pen/CD. I guess this is also good for them to increase their Chinese scientific terminologies and vocabularies.

        http://www.srbook.com.tw/action/10412_bt_children/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that DK series seems to be pretty good. I thought of getting it at one point. Your kids probably won’t get much use out of it for a while. I recommend that you start working on teaching zhuyin and basic characters, get/use the textbook/study guides previously mentioned, and gets lots of story books. Songs and other components of CLE are obviously important too. It takes dedication and conviction for the parents to see this through. Good luck and let me know when difficulties come up.

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  2. Hi Oliver,

    When did you start teaching your daughters read the words, i.e. character recognition? My son is three now. We read a lot of books in both Mandarin and Cantonese. Every time we start reading, I point to the title and read the characters one by one. He seems to enjoy reading very much. Other than a few simple characters that I taught him earlier, I found out that he also recognizes some high frequency words, such as 的,爸爸.

    I’m debating if I should start teaching him to read with a more organized way with a curriculum like Sagebooks now. Or we just read and read more now and wait until he is 4 or so to start more formal Chinese lessons.

    Like

    • Hi Jenny. We were more about establishing our CLE (Chinese language ecosystem) back then. I did do flash cards early on for my elder daughter but not as much for my younger daughter. We (or least the au pairs) did do more general reading and story telling early on but it was less about formal reading lessons. We probably didn’t start formal studies till 5 or close to 5. There are obviously more than one way and really depends on your son’s interest and acceptance level. You can try whichever way as long as your son remains interested.

      Story telling at 3

      The following are general statements, and not particularly addressed to you. I think that, from 3-6 years of age, having plenty of opportunities to play, hear, and talk in Chinese with more fluent or native speakers are more important than all these reading lessons, hands down. Those are the foundation of a strong reading program later on. Parents whose child interacts most of time in English during those years can expect slow progress in their reading program later on, unless they take drastic actions later on.

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