Writer’s Workshop: Really Challenging but Worth it

English and Mandarin
English and Mandarin


I’m really glad that all of my kids are able to speak both English and Mandarin. These are the languages that are most commonly spoken in Asia and being Chinese ourselves it is important for us to know our mother tongue.

It is not easy for me to focus on them speaking both English and Mandarin at the same level as English is predominant in our family.

It is a challenge to get them speaking more Mandarin and even Cantonese  at home but is something that I m trying my best to do.

Here  are five reasons I’m Glad my Children Speak  both English and Mandarin

1. It is a must to be able to speak both languages in school.

Every kid is “effectively” bilingual in Singapore as we have to study English and our mother tongue.  Everyone here is Bilingual and in order to be able to communicate well with most people a good grasp in both languages is necessary.

2. They are able to learn and relate more to their Chinese heritage.

There is a difference reading a text in Mandarin and the same text after it has been translated into English. The overall meaning may be the same however when worded in Chinese it adds much more meaning and “richness” to the text.

3. They are able to understand and communicate with their elder relatives/ friends who do not speak English.

The kids great grandmother ( on their Dad’s side) only speaks  Cantonese and many of the  relatives there speak Mandarin or Cantonese and it is great that they are  able to talk to each other each time we go back to Hong Kong.

4. They are more open to different languages and cultures.

Coming from a bilingual/ multilingual speaking family and society they have grown up listening to a wide variety of music.  They are really into Korean Pop Music  at the moment and are aware of their unique customs and traditions.

5. They are on their way to become a Global Person

Most places in the world require people to speak English and/or Mandarin and by speaking both the kids have an advantage as they will be able to settle practically anywhere in the world and adapt to their own unique culture there.

What languages do your kids speak?

How do you help encourage them to use the

different languages?


Jenny Matlock Mama’s Losin’ It

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

12 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Really Challenging but Worth it”

  1. It’s a fine gift to give to your children! Such a good thing for them to be able to speak two languages fluently. My boyfriend is originally from Eritrea but he came here to Sweden as a small child. I’m trying to learn Arabic from him and I hope that if we are lucky enough to get kids we’ll try to teach them Arabic as well as Swedish.

  2. We’re in the UK so unfortunately my children only speak English like most children in this country. Speaking two languages or more is a real gift you can give to your children and though mine probably won’t be bilingual I hope they’ll start learning a second language as soon as they’re at school. 🙂

  3. I hope I can encourage my child to learn another language too. I love that you want to instill your heritage into your children. I enjoyed your post.

  4. Wonderful that your children speak both languages ~ we are all connected and the more multicultural we become the better the world will be ~ Great post ~ Smart Mom you are! ~ xxx

    artmusedog and carol
    (A Creative Harbor)

  5. My son was quite fluent in French. Enough so they wanted him to go to French Immersion school. He chose not to leave his friends though and stayed.

  6. That is awesome that your kids know more than one language. My daughter is deaf so she knows both ASL(american sign language) and English. I really hope that my other two kids take sign language classes in high school. It is a great language and knowing it gives them additional opportunities.

  7. I love that you and your children can all speak English & Mandarin. And both are
    equally useful where you live! Thanks for sharing. I thought yours the most worthy
    of comment.

  8. We live in California, and only speak English in our house. But this is such a diverse state that I think it’s essential to learn at least some basic Spanish, and my kids will be taking Spanish in high school. I know it helps me at my job!

  9. Hi Dominique,
    Thank you once again for your great IT help! Thanks for the great tips on P1 prep. As for me, my hubby and I decided to speak mainly mandarin with our kids from day 1. We figured English can be learnt more easily since everyone is using English nowadays. Am glad to see the fruits of our labour now as our kids converse well in Mandarin and speak fairly decent English . We believe this also helped connect them to the older generation (their grandparents). It is important that they do like Mandarin and even like writing mandarin characters. Looking forward to learn more from you!

  10. I think it’s important to be exposed to other cultures and languages. My kids speak other languages and so do I. It opens the mind to a richer world.

  11. I think it’s really wonderful that your children are bi-lingual.

    I’ve never had a head for languages at all.

    It’s impressive you continue with this…your children (and the world!) will benefit from better communications.

    Thank you for linking.


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