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Monday, August 10, 2009

Thinking in English

My boy now has ting xie or Chinese Spelling at his kindergarten. The other day, I was helping him to prepare for it.

However, I noticed that he thinks in English or uses English to learn Mandarin.

MG: Baby, write "huo"

My Boy: What is huo in English?

MG: Fire

My Boy: Oh Ok. (Writes the Chinese Character for "huo" or fire)

MG: Now, write shui.

My Boy: What is shui?

MG: It is water.

My Boy: Oh Ok (Writes the chinese character for "shui" or water)

After a while........

MG: Hey, you can't do it like this you know. Mummy cannot tell you the words in English. You have to listen to the Chinese words then write it.


He received a 6/6 for his ting xie.

MG: Wow! Thats good. Well, done. Did you listen to the Chinese words?

My Boy: No. Teacher told us "Huo" is fire. "Shui" is water.


  1. LOL....that is funny!!! My chinese school colleague also says the same...earlier will have to be like that but late one will get easier!

  2. ahahahhahahaha the teacher must have known..the class consist of many english speaking kids huh..

  3. that's how the teacher in my girl's kindy test them too. Chinese words followed by the meaning. It's ok lah. they learn what. That's what matters. :)

  4. Ann,
    And watch out for the Mat Salleh accent. Both my kids have it. Hahaha.

    Yah, even my girl's Std One teacher has to keep on talking to the kids in English in school because most of the kids in her class speak English.

    Yes, thats what matters. How you learn is not important. :)

  5. I believe the teaching method is correct i.e. UNDERSTAND (what it means in his 'native' i.e most used language) RATHER THAN MEMORISE the 'foreign' word and its meaning. As a banana, I think in english, before mentally translating and saying/writing it in a 'foreign' language. Yes, even for BM.


  6. Anon,
    Thats great then. Only thing is if he doesn't hear the English word, he doesn't know how to write. :)


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