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Q: How is your communication with your Chinese kids?

My 6 year old understands English.. she just won't speak it.

Do you, same as me, find life in China is made more difficult when your kid is talking a different language than you do?

It's so easy to feel left out.

How do you cope?

2 years 32 weeks ago in  Family & Kids - China

 
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I have a mate with a Chinese wife and they have a son. When he was born they agreed on a system for speaking to him.

 

When she's with him they speak Chinese. When he's with him they speak French (he's French Canadian) and when everyone is together they speak English.

 

It seems to work well, the boy is fluent in three languages now. He's about 12yo I think.

 

I do remember a time when he would only really speak Chinese though. I guess when you're very young and trying to make sense of the world you speak the language you hear the most, which is obviously Chinese.

 

I reckon it would be the same with your daughter Alan. Give it time.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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Kid mimics her mom ...  

If you would make your wifey talk English (more or all the time) with you, kid would certainly follow. 

Even if you and your wife wouldn't talk Chinese in your home, kid has enough practice with other kids.

 

I am talking out of my own experience ... my parents both spoke different language than it was spoken in country we lived at the time.

I still speak different language with my mom than on the street with my friends, i.e. kids, we followed because both parents used their native language in our house.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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I have a mate with a Chinese wife and they have a son. When he was born they agreed on a system for speaking to him.

 

When she's with him they speak Chinese. When he's with him they speak French (he's French Canadian) and when everyone is together they speak English.

 

It seems to work well, the boy is fluent in three languages now. He's about 12yo I think.

 

I do remember a time when he would only really speak Chinese though. I guess when you're very young and trying to make sense of the world you speak the language you hear the most, which is obviously Chinese.

 

I reckon it would be the same with your daughter Alan. Give it time.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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I use English Chinese flash cards for a half hour everyday, but she does speak Chinese most of the time, will be 4 in May.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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My daughter is four and a half. She speaks both Chinese and English. I think her Chinese is much better than her English as she tends to make the typical mistakes that other Chinese people make when referring to another person as he or she. She is in an International kindergarten where most students can communicate very well in both Chinese and English. When she was a baby I simply insisted that English be our home language and as she started growing up she started to speak more Chinese to her mother and English to me. What really helped a lot was letting her watch My Little Pony and all her favorite movies in English. Now it doesn't really matter what language the cartoon is in. She understands and speaks both languages. You want your daughter to speak to you. Watch the movie with her and ask her questions during the movie. Make a couple of comments about the movie and laugh with her. She will open up to you in no time. You just need to bring yourself down to her level and act like a kid sometimes.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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my son pretty much gets Chinese all day everyday,I speak English with him but at kindergarten his class get 2 20min English lessons a week and everything else is in Chinese.

my wife speaks mostly Chinese with him.

his Chinese is so much better than English.my son is 4 years old.

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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"It's so easy to feel left out.

How do you cope?"

 

How about not being so selfish, your kid isn't your tool. 

And why 'your Chinese kid'? Are you her biological father? If so then it's simply 'your kid'.

If you weren't concerned with only yourself you'd know it's normal for a kid that age to be more versed in one language than the other at that age. 

 

Talk to the silly voices in your head for comfort and simply allow your kid to develop normally. 

 

 

 

 

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2 years 32 weeks ago
 
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I noticed my kids are switching from English to Chinese when they talking to their mom. Excellent.
Next month an education adviser will visit the kindergarten, and has an appointment with me. Because my oldest kid doesn't seem to be advancing in GERMAN language (what the natives here speak) anymore. I'll say it's because we removed the trampoline, and neighbour kids didn't visit in winter.

It will be hard to explain to the education adviser why I'm not too concerned with Owen's lagging German ability, because his divided focus is directed where it should be, learning languages at home.

But education advisers have goals to achieve, and we've met many Chinese in Holland and Germany who regret bum-rushing their kids into a single cultural immersion, with all the regrets, missed opportunities and identity confusion it results in. Our family's best interests are closer to Owen's best interests, than the education curriculum's are, in this aspect.

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2 years 31 weeks ago
 
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My daughter had a tough time as I was away in the UK a lot working while they stayed here for the first couple of years of her life. As a consequence her Chinese was much better than her English even though I spoke to her every day for at least an hour and her mother was very good with speaking English to her. I did feel very left out as I felt I couldn't communicate with my daughter as fully as I wanted. The love and affection from her was boundless regardless of the language difficulties. Now that I have been back here for seven/eight months and we are going to be leaving here as a family (with my baby son too) next year her English has come on leaps and bounds although it is still tough. She has a hard time understanding that if daddy days its ok there is no need to go ask mummy or granny. Honestly mate it's just a case of being patient. It'll come.

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2 years 31 weeks ago
 
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