Summer of 2016 (2016暑假)

Summer of 2016 passed by so quickly.  I hope you all had a fantastic summer.

Below are some of what my dds did for their Chinese enrichment during the summer.

“Charlotte” is 13 now.  She studied Chinese, mostly with her tutor, about 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week, for ~ 5 weeks.  They used Baron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture to get a feel for the Chinese AP exam.  They went over much of the cultural notes in the book, some of which are shown below.

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In terms of writing, there are two tasks in the Writing section of the AP exam.  The first one is story narration.  Students have 15 minutes to write a story according to a four picture sets of prompts.  The second one is email response to an email inquiry from a friend.  The time allotted is also 15 minutes.

Below is one such exam of the story narration.


So, Charlotte typed: 有一天, 藝琦量了自己的體重。  當她站上磅稱, 瑩幕上的數字開始漸漸增加到一百四十五磅。  藝琦很不高興的打量一下瑩幕上的數字,   她決定要減肥。  為了要減輕重量, 藝琦開始每天早起跑步跟吃沙拉和別的健康一點的食物。  幾個月後, 藝琦又量了體重。  她又驚又喜的發現自己的體重減到一百二十磅, 比以前少二十五磅。 

In terms of reading, she finished reading 金庸’s 神雕俠侶 (The Return of the Condor Heroes).  I think I asked her to read 50-70 pages a day.  She also created questions sets for a few Magic Tree House books.  Summer really went by fast.  Charlotte just started 8th grade and is immediately bombarded with projects.  I don’t expect home work assignments to lighten up for her.  It looks like she will have little time for Chinese during the school year.

Oh, she loves to write stories (in English really these days).  So, over the summer, I asked her to keep working on the Cinderella like Chinese story she previously started.  I guess she had a writer’s block and instead started working on another story instead.  Here is how it starts, with very limited corrections from me.  I need to email this to her tutor really.  My Chinese writing is grade school level, LOL.  She says she doesn’t like to write in Chinese any more.  It looks like English has almost completely taken over….

下課的鐘終於響了。  我馬上把所有的課本和習作塞進書包裡和跑出教室。  春假開始了。  我得快點敢回家。  我走到阿姨的麵包店,買了哥哥最喜歡吃的新鮮奶油吐司。  我進家門時突然感到頭暈, 然後正常。  我慢慢的走進客廳,看到哥哥和另一位我不認識的男孩子的背影。  哥哥轉向我而開始微笑。  我給了他一個大擁抱後,把麵包給了他。  哥哥接過了麵包後便給我介紹他旁邊的男孩。

  “凱雅, 這是我的朋友維斯。” 哥哥說。  維斯有一雙鑽石藍的眼睛和深咖啡色的頭髮。  他穿著休閑褲子和一件白色的上衣。 

  “妳好。“ 維斯說。

  ”你好。“ 我回答。

  ”維斯跟我是在大學認識的。  因爲他春假沒事所以帶他來。“ 哥哥解釋。 

我怎麼覺得維斯好像不太對勁。  每次靠近他時,我的頭越來越暈。  在吃飯時, 我故意坐和他最遠的坐位。  維斯總是令爸媽和哥哥笑而他很有禮貌。  可是我還是覺得他不太對勁。

  半夜, 我起來去拿一杯水喝。  當我回來時, 快經過哥哥房間時,聽到他和維斯在悄悄的說話。

  ”你確定?“ 哥哥問。

  ”你妹是。“ 維斯回答。




  “安靜, 有人來了。” 維斯說。


  “那是凱莉。” 哥哥說。

我還是站在走廊中間。  為什麼他們在三更半夜講那麽奇怪的話?

  “凱莉。  你三更半夜在家裡走來走去幹嘛?“ 哥哥問。

  ”你們幹嘛三更半夜在講一些奇怪有的沒的?“ 我問。

哥哥把頭探出門外而說, ”妳還沒回答我的問題。“


  “妳先回答我的問題。“ 哥哥又說。

  ”你們兩個不要吵了。“ 維斯說。 

  “明天再講吧。  我要睡覺。” 我說便回了房間。 



太陽的光照射在石門上的圖案。  那些圖案是為了封閉門後面的靈魂。  我拍一拍我雪白的翅膀而降落在門的正前方。從門裡的一些小縫隙我能看到靈魂淡藍色的光。  傑克也在門前降落。
  “妳準備好了嗎?” 他問。  我點了頭。  我從口袋裡拿出一把銀色的鑰匙然後解開了門上的鎖。  古老的石門慢慢的打開。


  有人在門上一直敲門。  我看了床頭櫃上的鬧鐘。  現在早上7:45。 

  “幹嘛?  今天禮拜六。” 我問。

  “我們跟你哥哥和維斯要出外爬山。  妳要去嗎?” 媽媽回答。


  “好, 傍晚見喔。”  我聽到大家穿鞋和門上鎖的聲音。  幾分鐘後, 我走進哥哥的房間。  在他的床上有一本很厚的書本。  書的封面是用深色的牛皮所做的而且上面沒有字。我把書拿起來便把它拿回我房間去看。  前幾頁記載著一個神話故事:

她的使命, 是守護他的靈魂。  他為了人類跟地獄的鬼魂爭鬥而喪命。  答應了湯姆斯她會盡所有能力保護他。  幾百年過去了。  湯姆斯還是沒有回來。  她的答應,也跟著那些年一天天的消失。  直到那天使死了, 他還是沒有回來。 

真是一個悲慘的故事。  我才不會那麽耐心地去等一個永遠沒回來的人。  這個天使也真是的。我再翻了一頁。  這一頁上面寫了不同人的名字。

1) 露西

2) 賽亞

3) 溫蒂

4) 黎剎


So, that’s that for Charlotte.  It seems to read like an interesting story.  I only wish she has the time to explore her Chinese writing more.  These days, she is engrossed in writing her English novel…

As for 10 year old “Georgia”, she attended a month of 4th grade public school in Taiwan in June.   Here is one chapter of the Chinese Language Art textbook that she had to study for the final exam.  Due to the short term nature of her study, she couldn’t learn all that were covered in the second semester.  She got a 50ish grade on the CLA final exam, she said.  Good job, I told her.  She probably is at least end of third grade level in Taiwan now.  Not bad at all for a heritage kid at 10 years of age.  As I previously suggested, to achieve decent level of the Chinese language for children, the pace of study should be ~ end of second grade level (Taiwan standard, probably ~ middle of second grade in mainland China) by end of third grade in the US, and then advancing by one grade level every two years in the US.  At that pace, the student should reach about end of fifth grade level by the end of middle school.

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We worked on Georgia’s English upon her return from Taiwan (with breaks and road trips in between).  As I previously mentioned, due to the amount of time she spent on Chinese her entire life so far and that she skipped a grade upon returning to private school after homeschooling, she is behind in her English.  This has certainly impeded her on the more language intensive part of her schooling.   So, she is still trying to catch up.  The price of a strong dose of CLE, I say.  If it is still too tough after another year or two, we don’t rule out holding her back to her original grade level.

Now that school has started, Georgia is back to reading Chinese novels from the 世界少年文學精選.   She is reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, since she previously read an abridged children’s book version.  As for regular Chinese textbook study, we are back to where we left off at the end of last school year, namely 4th grade first semester textbook.  Here is the chapter we are working on now.

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So much to do, so little time…..

Oh, here is a picture of my dds the first day of school!


I wish you all a fantastic new school year!

劉倚帆 (Yvonne Liu)

A FB member brought this young lady to my attention today.  I did some research and noted the following:

Yvonne Liu was born in 1989 at New York City to famed Taiwanese author 劉墉.

Her brother is 16 years senior and moved with the family from Taiwan to the US at the age of 8.  He attended Stuyvesant and then Harvard and is an author and radio host in Taiwan.

Yvonne is skilled in ice skating, piano, violin, and math (Olympiad highest individual score at school), graduated high school as valedictorian, and attended Columbia, majoring in music and economics.   She later worked in China as a manager for Warner Bros. Entertainment and currently attends Wharton for MBA.  It seems her Chinese is pretty decent.  According to her father, she previously translated two books from Chinese to English.  Her father took her on trips abroad for opportunities to speak Chinese.  You can click on mark 9:00 in the video below to listen to Yvonne speak back in 2008, when she was 17.   I believe high IQ, a parent well studied in Chinese literature who taught her Chinese, a sibling who is a native speaker (though he was likely mostly away when she was growing up due to their age difference), growing up in NYC, and strong connections to the motherland are key to her Chinese proficiency.  With the limited information from my research, I would rate her overall Chinese to be ILR level 3-3.5 by 18.  I know another young woman with similar background who achieved ~ ILR level 3-3.5 Chinese proficiency under the tutelage of her mother, who is a Chinese author and was a private school Chinese teacher.

Click on mark 9:00.

Below is section of an article from China, converted to traditional Chinese: