Monday, August 27, 2012


One of the things we worry about with Sophie being in daycare in Singapore is the whole speaking Chinese situation. Until we moved back, Sophie almost never heard any Chinese spoken around her. We taught her the Chinese words for "soy milk", "grape", and "apple", and that was about it.

But now that we're home, she hears it everywhere-- when we're at the store, at a restaurant, on TV at the grandparents' (we don't have TV signal in our apartment yet), and most importantly, at school.

But thankfully, she's actually been keenly enthusiastic about the language. She constantly asks what the name of things are in Chinese and she's been surprisingly receptive to us reading her Chinese books at bedtime (with us translating the story line by line in English, of course). In fact, right now, she's particularly enamored with the Tao Shu books that we borrowed from the cousins. We only have two from the series and we've read them almost every other day :) Honestly, it's actually been interesting for me to rediscover my mother tongue as well- I think the last time I was asked to read anything in Chinese was when I was 17!

It helps too that Sophie's favorite teacher at school is also her Chinese teacher. It's fascinating how children form attachments and particularly so in this case when Sophie barely understands what her Chinese teacher says to her. Her teacher will sometimes speak to Sophie in English if it's an important instruction, but for the most part, she only speaks Chinese. We suspect part of it is precisely because she speaks primarily Chinese. We think that for Sophie, Chinese is like a new puzzle- her curiosity and interest are being piqued and it's something to be explored and discovered. And her Chinese teacher represents all of that in one adoring, affectionate package.

Watch as Sophie sings her first Chinese song :) She has no idea what the words mean individually but she's actually got the intonations down quite accurately.

**speak Chinese

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