One English milestone reached!

快十歲半的小女兒今天讀完長達~730頁哈利·波特英文版第四集!她超愛的!我知道,講到英文小說是有點奇怪,但畢竟這博客是在討論中英養兒育女。

哈利·波特第四集是5、6th年級閱讀程度的書,是哈利·波特系列中第一本這麼厚的,前三本書短得多。有些小孩可能8-9歲就看完這本書,但他們應該沒像我女兒們花那麼多時間學中文。正如我之前文章所討論的,美國外交學院(FSI)估計,英語為母語的成人要把中文學到ILR第三級,大約需要全職花ㄧ年半至兩年(88週)的時間來學雖然小女兒是個孩子,但我以保守的估計,她把中文學到ILR〜3.5-4級,至少共花了ㄧ年半至兩年的時間。

如此類推,若非小女兒花如此時間在學中文,她應該八、九歲時就該能看完哈利波特第四集。而這之間的差異,至少對我家而言,就是學好中文其中的“代價”之ㄧ。

我覺得,問問各家孩子讀完哈利波特第四集時的年齡和當時的中文ILR程度,會是ㄧ個很有意義的調查。當然,其中涉及許多因素,但如此簡單的調查該能幫我們更加了解中英養兒育女的過程及難處。

Strange as this may sound, though it should not as this is a blog on raising Chinese-English bilingual/biliterate children, dd#2, who is almost 10 and half, finished reading all ~ 730 pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today!!  She loved it!  Yay!!!

This is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, with Lexile Rank 880 and of 5-6th grade reading level.  This is the first of the Harry Potter series of this heft.  The first three books are much shorter.  Some children probably read this book around 8-9 years old, but most of them probably didn’t spend as much time learning Chinese.  As I explained in an earlier post, Foreign Service Institute (FSI) estimates that it takes an English speaking adult about 1.5-2 years (88 weeks) of full time instruction, studying, and practice to achieve ILR level 3 in speaking and reading.  Though dd#2 is a child, I think it is a reasonable estimate that she devoted a full 1.5 to 2 years of time learning Chinese to an overall ILR ~ 3.5-4 level.

Accounting for these factors, had my dd#2 not spend this much time learning Chinese, she probably would have been able to read Harry Potter #4 at between 8 to 9 years old.  The difference, of course, is one of the “price to pay” to learn Chinese to this level, at least for our family.

For nonacademic research purpose, it will be most interesting to survey families to find out the age of their child when s/he finishes reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Chinese ILR level that the child has achieved by that time.  There are obviously many other factors involved, but may be such quick survey can help us understand the whole process better.

 

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