Last stage, for now

如今十二歲的大女兒已開始讀金庸的神鵰俠侶也開始可用電腦打自己的創作,她的大學前的中文學習似乎也到的最後ㄧ個階段。在接下來的三年,我們目前計畫大致上如下:

  1.  繼續念台灣小六的自修中文課本,多念些介紹中國文化的文章。
  2. 七年級的暑假加強用打字寫作。同時,因她喜歡寫作繪畫和彈吉他,也試編寫和畫雙語童書和學吉他自彈自唱中文歌。
  3. 八年級的暑假學讀簡體字和加強論說文,說明文等非記敘文的文章。
  4. 九年級的暑假由親友安排去台灣或大陸打工ㄧ個月。
  5. 十年級準備考Chinese AP test。學到這階段,這應該不難。

在大學前中文學習進入尾聲時, 她也可重新學習九歲時中斷的西班牙文。

  1. 七年級完後的暑假念五十小時的西文。
  2. 八年級週末念些西文文章。
  3. 八年級完後的暑假念八十小時的西文。
  4. 九年級上西文二或三的課。
  5. 九年級完後的暑假念四十小時的西文。
  6. 十年級上西文三或四的課,之後西文應有ILR第二級的程度。
  7. 十年級完後的暑假由親友安排去我國高中時住的多明尼加去做志工服務ㄧ個月。
  8. 十ㄧ年級上西文四或大學的西文課程,之後希望有~ILR第三級的程度。

至少,這是現在計畫的進度。當然,計畫常常趕不上變化。就再看咯!

Now that 12 year old “Charlotte” starts reading 金庸’s 神鵰俠侶 and can type her own creative writings, I can see the beginning of the last stage of our pre-college Chinese language art (CLA) journey.  At this point, I foresee that this last stage will last three years, from 7th through 9th grade, as follows:

  1.  Continue studying 6th grade self-study guide over the next two years.  It takes longer for my elder daughter, since she has heavier school work.  At the mean time, continue reading novels, concentrating more on original Chinese novels instead of translated ones, and doing read-aloud of literary work and cultural studies with the Chinese tutor on the weekend.
  2. Summer after 7th grade: focus on Chinese composition (by typing).  She will hopefully work on bilingual children’s book, as drawing/painting and writing are two of her passions.  With another year of playing/learning guitar, a favorite activity, she will hopefully work on making covers of Chinese songs (she is playing 時間都去哪兒了 tonight).  She is receptive to voice lessons.  So, we’ll see.
  3. Summer after 8th grade: learn commonly used simplified characters and do more non-fictional readings.  After going over the basics, it should be fairly straight forward.  One simple way would be to read fluently articles on www.slow-chinese.com and www.thechairmansbao.com first in traditional and then in simplified characters.  These articles are suitable for HS students and adults, not kids.
  4. Summer after 9th grade: one month of summer job in mainland China and Taiwan alongside other natives through friends and family.
  5. Studying for and taking the Chinese AP test should be fairly easy in 10th grade.  She will be “wrapping up” her pre-college CLA journey while most heritage students are just ramping it up in 9-10th grade.
  6. Continue reading Chinese novels and enjoying CLE after all these.

This “last” phase of our pre-college CLA journey should be the first phase, or more accurately, resumption of our Spanish language art journey.

  1.  Summer after 7th grade: resume Spanish home self-study and home tutoring.  It’s fairly easy to find suitable tutors.  Current plan is for ~ 50 hours of study.
  2. 8th grade: read/study more Spanish on the weekends.
  3. Summer after 8th grade: Another ~80 hours of study.
  4. 9th grade: HS Spanish II or III.
  5. Summer after 9th grade: ~ 40 hours of study.
  6. 10th grade: Spanish III or IV.  By the end 10th grade, she should be IRL level 2.
  7. Summer after 10th grade: hopefully one month of immersion volunteering trip in the Dominican Republic, back in the home country of my teenage years.
  8. 11th grade: Spanish IV or college Spanish.  She should be close to ILR level 3 by then.

Of course, like all “good” Asian parents, she has time for some fun (she loves sleep-overs and hanging out with her friends – who wouldn’t.) and to work on other subjects, activities, and tennis, her sport of choice.  Lastly, she reminds me that I promised her equestrian lessons this summer, another favorite activity from several years back, for achieving her target grade so far this year.  Thank goodness lesson cost is reasonable in our neck of the wood in relatively rural eastern NC.

Well, at least these are the plans.  We’ll see how it goes.  I can’t wait.

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