Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's That? Wednesday: My Daughter's Mandarin...She's Got Skills!

Since moving to China, our entire family has taken language training in one form or another.  Jamie has had private lessons at work.  I took about 9 months of private lessons in our home.  We met twice a week for an hour at a time.  I took a very looooong break (18 months) and I happy to say that I've restarted my lessons after the new year.  LBean's school teaches Mandarin 30 minutes a day 4 times a week.  Even ChinaBean hears a good amount of Mandarin from our Ayi (housekeeper) and now at her new preschool where all the teachers are native Chinese speakers.

However, it's EBean that is the most impressive.  She has attended the same school for two years now.  Half of her day is presented in Mandarin (and about half her class are native Mandarin speakers) and the other half is presented in English.  Last year she would tell us that she didn't understand or speak Mandarin.  She would not speak it at home.  This year is a completely different story!  She is our most fluent speaker in the house (and she knows it).  I've been told by my Chinese friend that EBean's tones are correct when she is speaking and even she is impressed.  EBean is much more confident in her skills and now she speaks Mandarin to our Ayi, sings and talks to herself in Mandarin when she is playing at home, and if she is being particularly ornery, she'll speak it to us at the dinner table (and we have no idea what she is saying).

Some time ago a family member shared with me that they would like to hear EBean (our 5  year-old) speaking Mandarin Chinese.  The family member had a hard time imagining what EBean might sound like speaking another language.

About two weeks ago, I was finally about to take a decent video of EBean speaking Mandarin to her best friend.  They are looking at a coloring book about the movie Frozen. Enjoy the video!