Can I Send My Kid to My Neighbor to Learn Chinese?

Hey Friends! It’s Day 2 of November and my attempt to post/FB Live every day this month.

Anyhow, today, I’m answering a question I hear a lot. The gist is, “Hey, my neighbor/friend/coworker speaks Chinese. Can’t I just send my kids over to their house and then my kids can learn to speak Chinese?”

Oh, friends.

No. No. No.

Find out more about what I have to say in the video below. If you’d rather read my quick summary, it’s after the video.

No.

Oh, right. I already said that.

1) That’s racist. 

Really, it’s racist. Are you sure they even speak Chinese? Don’t use people.

Also? Not all people of Chinese descent speak Chinese.

2) That’s super entitled.

People pay money to learn Chinese from tutors, schools, and courses. It’s incredibly entitled to think that your neighbor should just teach your kid for free.

If your neighbor works, they’re likely too tired to teach their kids Chinese – which they don’t really need to because they probably just speak to their kids in Chinese. If your neighbor doesn’t work, they’re STILL tired.

If you want to have your neighbor teach your kid Chinese, you need to pay them.

3) Their Chinese-speaking kids are not going to speak to your non-Chinese speaking kid. 

Seriously. What kid is going to spend an entire playdate speaking in a language the other kid doesn’t understand? Especially if everyone speaks English?

No one. That’s who.

4) Your Chinese speaking neighbor is not going to speak to your non-Chinese speaking kid in Chinese.

Why not?

Because your kid doesn’t understand Chinese. Your neighbor would just have to say everything in English so your kid understands what they’re saying.

Also, that’s not how people learn languages. Your kid isn’t going to hear what your neighbor says in Chinese and then hear it in English and then magically know how to say (or understand) it in Chinese.

That’s not how it works.

So, what can you do to have your kid learn Chinese instead of sending them to the neighbor’s house?

1) Take a class. 

Whether in person, online, on YouTube, via Skype, there are plenty of beginning Chinese classes for kids. This is probably the easiest and quickest way for your child to learn Chinese.

2) That’s it. 

I mean, you could have your kid also learn how to read and write Chinese, but I don’t think that’s really practical until your kid can actually speak some. I see no point in being literate in a language you cannot speak. (Also, it’s super hard.)

Did you know I wrote a book on how to teach your kids Chinese? You can get it on Amazon (affiliate link) and it’s conveniently titled, So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese.

It’s full of practical advice, detailed applications, and heavy amounts of snark. Find most of the answers to your questions about how you can get your kids fluent in Chinese.

And yes, it has more advice than, “Take a class.” I promise.

 

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