So I have been really trying lately to improve my Chinese. At least 30 minutes of study each morning, for over a year and a half now. In the middle of HSK 3 studies for those who know the system.
But my 2 year old son is still out-speaking me in Chinese at home!
I have video calls to my family back in USA via Wechat – and Miles often pops out Chinese words to them. I wonder how that makes them feel.
Well, it is bound to happen, he is living in China and being raised by my Chinese in-laws and wife. I am here as much as I can – but his day to day living is primarily in Chinese.
I read English books to him each morning – a lot of Dr Suess and various ABC books. When I speak to him, it is in English. That is – unless the conversation is in Chinese – then I will try to carry it on in Chinese at the dinner table.
Anyway, this was part of my plan as a father. I think it is so important for him to learn Chinese in his lifetime. By growing up and learning Chinese in an immersive environment, it will be a good chance for him to be solid and confident in China and with Chinese business people in the future.
Learning English is so much easier, and he will pick it up fast in school and as he gets older. I know so many of my Chinese friends who speak fluent English but didn’t start learning until later in life.
But how many foreigners do you know who speak fluent Chinese that started later in life?
Ya, not many!
Well, the kids will be in China for the foreseeable future – and we will send them to a bilingual school. But for their first couple years it will be a mainly Chinese evironment.
Regardless, they will grow up in a very cross culture, and international environment. I hope this makes them strong leaders with open minds for the long term.