Friday, April 29, 2016

shoe dian

Lulu had her first exam-ish type Chinese assessment in school, a stapled set of papers with multiple-choice questions and re-arranging sentences and comprehension.

Now I didn’t know about it until one day after school, when she in her usual manner started burbling about her day, a pleasant stream of consciousness like a bubbling brook which never fails to delight me (because the other two are usually stone cold after school, Day being a little more forbidding than Jo).

She started off so, “Mama, I read aloud in school today with Irina and the teacher said I read extraordinarily well! Oh, I also think I got some sort of Chinese test back and I think I got 17.”

Upon what, I asked.

“Er, I think 40.”

* Her very Singaporean sentence construction

I nearly slammed on the brakes as Day and Jo started exclaiming and laughing really, really loudly.

I, in the thick of the PSLE soup, can see the future four years from now when she's 12 and I start to exhort when we are home. “But Lu, if you fail now, you are going to get 4 upon 100 at Gor Gor’s age!”

She giggled as she mock-scolded me, “Mama, don’t give up on me now!”

This one may fail, but she will fail with grace and a modicum of charm. The score doesn’t quite faze her. “Ah, whatever,” she seems to say, as she puts the signed paper back in her bag and goes back to drawing. Doesn't seem like the new approach worked very well for her.

She doesn’t have tuition. I was prepared for her to do badly in Chinese, and I have been working with her since the start of the year. Work not in the hard assessment-book sense, but writing words, getting the strokes right, while I try to make pictures out of the words (since she likes art right), several times a week. It was rather fun - I took it as fun time out with her - and it helped her to effortlessly score for her ting xies.

But it’s clearly more suitable for a pre-schooler than a Primary 2-er, and now shown to be painfully insufficient, and while she may have done well for ting xie, she is so inadequate. I'm clearly not a mum who can keep up with the system, Chinese-wise. She can’t speak and she can’t quite comprehend Primary 2 Chinese.

Her friends, she tells me, scored in the 30s. But I also happen to know that many of those friends go to a tyrant tuition centre called Wang Lao Shi.

Lu does oral the other day, her first try. The picture showed people buying footwear.

这是一个书店... (this is a bookshop),” she said very slowly.

“Ha? Where got books?” I respond, forgetting to speak in Mandarin and even proper English in my confusion.

When she realized what she said, she laughed “Oh… oh… oh.. sorry Mama…”

See, book shop =  shoe dian


Anonymous said...

Lol. Lu is such an adorably laid back child! May the system never kill her ability to see humour and positive side of a so-called bad event!

On the side note, I let my kids watch the 5.30pm Ch8 drama reruns to brush up their spoken Chinese. For Chinese revision is get them to rewrite twice (each word 10x) all the new words at the back of their textbooks at the end of the year.

So far its good enough to get them passing grades. :p


Sher said...

i shld let them watch chinese tv.. only we hardly watch tv. and when they do watch tv, they watch english stuff, gravity falls and stevens universe.

i did get lu to write the words. problem is she cant use them very well.

Anonymous said...

Hmm,what about listening to the Chinese radio stations during car rides or road trips then?

We don't watch much tv and if my kids want to watch tv, its only the 5.30pm Chinese drama. So they settle for that. :p

Actually,it would be great if they are "hooked" onto some Chinese singers and would want to learn to sing their songs. Then they will make ab effort to learn the lyrics. That was the most effective way for me back then coz both my parents are Malaysians and couldn't speak Mandarin at all. We learnt by watching tv, singing songs and repeated writing of the Chinese words.

Now trying to get my kids do the same since they don't speak Chinese nor dialact at home too.


Sher said...

we do listen to chinese radio! 933..

Karmeleon said...

Haiz - memorise, memorise.

The "Shoe" dian is not so bad. We get half chinese half english at violin lesson from a PRC teacher every week!!!! hahahha and I loved the singaporean chinese. _ must add punctuation - tell her. hahahh

Karmeleon said...

Oh, and i'm afraid that when violin tr says "靠 Bridge", it kind of tickles us (Moo, Moo).

Sher said...

memorise.... really ah? i guess it will come to that. day is memorising everything already. he lies in his oral because he follows the script. so what he claims he does with his family, isn't true.

half english half chinese: its so wrong but yes it can be funny too!

i completely didn't notice that she didn't include punctuation. she has issues with punctuation, english or chinese. i will tell her..

Karmeleon said...

The comment on punctuation is a joke! just as the local "Pasar" chinese is :D

Anya & Arielle's mom said...

She reminds me of me. To me, fire station is 火车站 until I unwittingly gave my university mates a good laugh years ago. It's okay, I'm still self-secured despite marginally passing Chinese in my secondary and JC days. I vaguely remember my SIL who lives in the east sending my niece and nephew to Chinese speech and drama lessons operated by some Hokkien Huey guan association and it helped tremendously in getting the kids into liking and enjoying the language. I thought that is a fine idea without being all about academic drills.

Sher said...

u mean its not huo che zhan?? what is it?

Karmeleon said...

LOL - some years ago, when I was going to pass a Fire Station - had to stop because an Ambulance was coming out, so I told the littlest one - hey look at the ambulance!, and then I said 消防局有救护车,还有什么车? Then his Cheeky Big Sister said 🚄 火车🚅 ...The little boy was like "???", then the look in his eyes when he realised what his sister had said and his mouth upturned and he said "Choo-choo!!!!". hahahha.