I grew up in a family that DO NOT SPEAK MANDARIN at all. Not even a sentence.
No, I’m not talking about my auntie’s family, who took care of me since birth till I was five years old.
I am talking about my parents. So ever since they brought me home at the age of five, my exposure to Mandarin is purely restricted to my hours spent in school. My journey in learning this compulsory 2nd language was pretty horrendous.
Seriously, I don’t even know how did I survive those 11years. As I recall, it could have been my rebellious character that pulled me through. ‘Cos since I dislike my parents so much, naturally at the back of my immature-mind, I felt that whatever they do is wrong. So I was often heading the-other-direction.
Now, I’m neither here nor there. I write and read better in English, (note: I said ‘ better ‘ not ‘ proficiently ‘) sing better in Mandarin and speak perfect Singlish. *laugh*
Frankly speaking, I have serious problem in spelling ever since I started blogging. I was taught to spell words the Britain way all my years in School. Yet those auto-spell-check are always American based.
Eg. I was taught to spell ‘reali S ed’ in school, but the auto spell check corrected it to ‘reali Z ed’. Then the word ‘colo U rful’ that I’m so used to write in my school books are changed to ‘colorful’ by Wordpress auto check.
We are taught the Britain way, yet our Television are showing American shows. Ok, the only British show is probably MR BEAN?! *eyes rolled* Its really confusing at times.
I wonder what would the fate of my boys be?
Being a Singaporean, its easy-peasy picking up Singlish without a twitch in the eye. Yet, they must master English cos all other subjects are taught in that language. Yet again, the government is promoting Mandarin speaking families. *eyes rolled* That’s the ‘ mind boggling ‘ thing when you live in a multi-national country like Singapore. Its a huge mixture of anything and everything!!!!
This Speak-Mandarin-on-Saturday-thingy has been going on for more than 2 years now. Back then, it was Allan - the Mandarin Teacher and I - the Everything- Else teacher. But ever since that ‘fatal’ incident last month, I’m the EVERYTHING-teacher now.
Throughout the 2 years, Allan had been complaining that he was having a hard time communicating with the boys in Mandarin when their idol is speaking English all the time. Guess who is their idol? *laugh*
That’s how the idea of Saturday-is-Mandarin-Speaking-day came about.
Now my boys speak Mandarin with an English accent. Its funny or even hilarious most of the time. But we try to control our laughter. ‘Cos laughing at them would hinder them from progressing. No one wants to look like a clown or a joker. Laughing at kids who are attempting to learn something new is an indirect insult to their motivation.
So now that I’m the Everything-Teacher its easier to plan my language lessons.
Monday-Friday is English speaking day.
Saturday is Mandarin speaking day.
Sunday is Say-what-you-want day. ‘Cos our Sundays are always spent with my in-laws. Over there, its a mixture of EVERYTHING.
My boys speak to their grandparents in Cantonese and Mandarin. Speak to my youngest niece M.Y. in Mandarin, ‘cos her English is really poor. Speak to my eldest niece C.H. in English. Speak to my favourite niece Z.Y. in Singlish. Speak to my 1 year old nephew, W.D. in Baby Language. And Speak to everyone else in English.
Are you confused? *laugh*
As I read my post, I realised its pretty confusing for non-Chinese-Singaporeans to picture this. *laugh*
But let me tell you, its happening every Sunday. *wink* Pretty amazing eh?
*Did a post on how I feel about Singlish over here.