Friday, February 17, 2017

女兒語錄(23)Quote of My Daughter(23)

Photo: Jennifer and her daughter playing at Bondi Beach in Syndey, Australia in April, 2005.
圖:曾錚與女兒2005年4月攝於澳大利亞悉尼邦代海灘(Bondi Beach)

My daughter started schooling two or three years earlier than most of the kids. So when she was 11 years old, she was already in the second year of the middle school in China (equivalent to year 8 in Australia and US) . However, after I gained refugee status and managed to get her over to Sydney, I had to send her to the language school to study English first. For her, this could feel like falling from a “prodigy” in terms of her Chinese language ability to an “idiot” in terms of her English. I had worried how she would handle this.
On the first day after she returned from the language school, I asked her,”Could you understand what the teacher was saying?”
“No, not at all.”
“Then what can you do?” I started worrying again.
“Who cares!” She cheerfully replied and caught me by surprise again.
The language school finished quite early, much earlier than the schools in China. So everyday after school, my daughter always “checked in” at a small public library nearby; and borrowed a lot of Chinese books to take home to read. Every time when I saw her carrying another bunch of Chinese books home, I always wondered:”When will she ever start reading English books?”
It turned out that the library did not have too many Chinese books; so my daughter soon finished reading every single copy of them.
Then, suddenly one day, I saw her was reading a very, very thick English book!
At this stage I felt so relieved. So the lesson was, for Chinese parents, never worry that your kid’s English won’t be good. As long as they live in a western society, they will surely pick up sooner or later. What the parents should pay more attention to, is actually not to have your kids forget their Chinese. Maybe in the very near future, Chinese will be the most important language in the world. Who knows?

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