Adult talk

Yeah!  We finally got our weekend Chinese tutor back this weekend!  For one reason or another, we haven’t been able to have her over for three months now.  We are fortunate to have the tutor for several hours each weekend, two to three times a month.  On Saturdays, the tutor also takes the girls out for lunch, when they can relax and chitchat, in Chinese of course.  They sometimes go out for a walk in the park or ride bicycles.  These activities help build relationships and reenforce the girls’ language skill and cultural identity.  The added bonus is that my wife and I can have “date” lunch ourselves once in a while!

Starting today, I ask the tutor to start a new phase of reading with 13 year old DD#1 “Charlotte”.  This phase is for Charlotte to become familiarized with some of the modern cultural knowledge, social trend, and the associated language usage in China.  After all, Charlotte will be starting high school next year and needs to learn how to talk the talk as adults in Chinese.

For this purpose, I am trying out articles from slow-chinese.com, which are free and are available in both simplified and traditional characters.  I copy and paste the articles I am interested in unto word processor and then change the font to add zhuyin.  The addition of zhuyin is to facilitate Scaffold Reading Experience, to allow Charlotte to read and process new vocabulary, terminology, and expression, without stumbling on the pronunciation.

Today, Charlotte went over and discussed four articles with the tutor in about one and half hour.  The tutor also explained some of the terminology differences between mainland China and Taiwan.  These articles are:

#160: 風水

#162: 北京的四合院

#163: 疫苗事件

#164: 《琅琊榜》與中國美

Tomorrow, Charlotte will read over a few more, one of which discusses our excessive reliance on smartphone.  The article is as follows:

#147: 手機依賴症

給大家講一個笑話:一群人到海邊度假,法國人看美女,德國人整天潛水,意大利人每天曬日光浴,而中國人會問:這裡有WiFi嗎?

的確,以前中國人的旅行方式是上車睡覺,下車吃飯、拍照、去衛生間,現在卻變成了上車睡覺、玩手機、看視頻,下車吃飯、玩手機、發微信刷微博。隨著手機越來越智能化,功能越來越多,我們對手機的依賴性也越來越強了,都患上了手機依賴症。

在之前的播客中,我們介紹過一個社交應用,叫微信(WeChat)。現在幾乎每個使用智能手機的中國人都會用微信和朋友們保持聯絡。最近的一項調查顯示,中國成年人平均每人每天在微信上閱讀的時間超過40分鐘。如果你在中國坐地鐵,會發現地鐵上90%以上的人都在低頭看手機。很多人去餐廳吃飯,菜上齊以後先拿手機拍照,再把這些誘人的照片傳到微信朋友圈(the Moments of Wechat),即使在吃飯的時候也總想著看看朋友們的回復。我認為這樣就喪失了人與人之間面對面交流的樂趣。有人開玩笑說,世界上最遙遠的距離,莫過於我坐在你面前,你卻在玩手機。

手機依賴症會給我們帶來很多負面影響。比如看手機時間長了,眼睛過度疲勞,近視度數會增加。中國有大約77%的大學生近視,可能這個數字在其他國家遠沒有這麼高。另外,現在越來越多的年輕人因為低頭看手機得了頸椎病,低一會兒頭就喊著脖子痛,嚴重的時候還會頭暈。手機依賴症不僅影響健康,還會影響人們工作和學習的效率,把時間碎片化,分散人們的注意力。還有些人過度沉迷於虛擬世界,在社交網絡上非常活躍,而在現實生活中,他們的語言表達和公共演講能力非常差,這也和過度依賴社交軟件有關。

總之,為了自己的身心健康,快放下你的手機出去做做運動,見見朋友吧!讓我們共同抵抗手機依賴症!

As you can see, articles such as these can facilitate our children to reach ILR ~ 4.5 in general speaking even into adulthood, instead of “kitchen” Chinese.

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