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女兒語錄(23)Quote of My Daughter(23)

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Photo: Jennifer and her daughter playing at Bondi Beach in Syndey, Australia in April, 2005.
圖:曾錚與女兒2005年4月攝於澳大利亞悉尼邦代海灘(Bondi Beach)

 

 
My daughter started schooling two or three years earlier than most of the kids. So when she was 11 years old, she was already in the second year of the middle school in China (equivalent to year 8 in Australia and US) . However, after I gained refugee status and managed to get her over to Sydney, I had to send her to the language school to study English first. For her, this could feel like falling from a “prodigy” in terms of her Chinese language ability to an “idiot” in terms of her English. I had worried how she would handle this.
我女兒上學比別的孩子早兩到三年,所以11歲來澳洲前,在中國已經上初二了,相當於澳洲和美國的八年級。我在澳洲申請到難民身分並把女兒接來後,需要先送她去語言學校學英語。對她來說,相當於從「神童級別」一下子降到「從零開始」。
On the first day after she returned from the language school, I asked her,”Could you understand what the teacher was saying?”
“No, not at all.”
“Then what can you do?” I started worrying again.
“Who cares!” She cheerfully replied and caught me by surprise again.
她第一天從語言學校回來後,我問她:「能聽懂老師說什麼嗎?」
「聽不懂。」
「那怎麼辦呢?」我真的有點擔心起來。
結果她說:「管它呢!」
女兒的回答再次讓我吃驚。「管它呢!」11歲孩子的思維跟大人就是不一樣。
The language school finished quite early, much earlier than the schools in China. So everyday after school, my daughter always “checked in” at a small public library nearby; and borrowed a lot of Chinese books to take home to read. Every time when I saw her carrying another bunch of Chinese books home, I always wondered:”When will she ever start reading English books?”
It turned out that the library did not have too many Chinese books; so my daughter soon finished reading every single copy of them.
語言學校每天放學挺早,對於已經適應了中國的繁重學習任務的女兒來說,可能頗有「解放」之感吧?她學校附近有個公共圖書館,裏面有些中文藏書。她每天一放學就鑽到圖書館去,然後抱一大摞中文書回來看。每次看著她抱中文書回來,我都發愁地想:「她啥時候開始看英文書呢?」
女兒就這麼天天去,圖書館的人都認識她了。那裏面爲數不多的中文書,很快就被她看光了。
Then, suddenly one day, I saw her was reading a very, very thick English book!
At this stage I felt so relieved. So the lesson was, for Chinese parents, never worry that your kid’s English won’t be good. As long as they live in a western society, they will surely pick up sooner or later. What the parents should pay more attention to, is actually not to have your kids forget their Chinese. Maybe in the very near future, Chinese will be the most important language in the world. Who knows?
然後,我都忘了是啥時候了,有一天我突然看見她真的捧著好厚的一本英文書在看!「哦,這真是謝天謝地!」
看來,對於已經來到西方國家的孩子,家長們其實不用擔心他們的英文。生活在英文的環境,孩子怎麼都能學會並適應。更要緊的反倒是不要讓他們忘了中文呢。說不定在不久的將來,中文會是世界上最重要的、人人必學的語言呢。

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