The Pain of Studying Chinese Abroad





As overseas Chinese, you must have realized how difficult it is for your children to learn Chinese. For my two children who are attending primary school in Singapore, it looks that we are so lucky because Singapore promotes bilingual education. For primary school students, they would have Chinese lessons almost every school day. However, why are they still struggling with Chinese? They could not speak Chinese so well, not to mention write a decent Chinese composition. In my opinion, I think the children are listening and reading Chinese too less.

Although I speak Chinese with them at home every day, our communication is limited mostly to spoken language. As daily communication, I would not use too much descriptive vocabulary. The result of this is there seems to be no problem for them in daily conversations at home. However, if they would like to talk something on a special topic, they just could not find proper vocabulary and have to seek help from Google Translate.

If you ask them to read Chinese novels, it might be a torture for them. Sometimes, I would pick out some words and ask them the meaning, their wrong explanation would surprise me. Because they really didn’t understand the meaning of many words, if no one explains to them, they will gradually lose the interest of reading Chinese books.

The intention of this website is to help children and parents living abroad. Today, with advanced IT technology, we could obtain many excellent and free podcast reading materials through many channels, but children living overseas might need more than that. They need more explanations of words and introduction of background information. I hope that through those stories and our concise and enjoyable explanations, children will like reading Chinese and increase their vocabulary of spoken and written Chinese.