This weekend I am happy to announce that I have finally started formal Japanese lessons with Ryan. I had been planning it since the start of the year and was putting it off as I did not have the time to prepare the materials for it.
I realised that it would take forever to get fully prepared and I should start with whatever resources I had at hand. With links to some upbeat youtube videos we started with singing songs of counting 1-20.
We will be progressing to writing in Hiragana in his next weekly lesson. He has already been taught the pronunciations in Hiragana since he was 2yrs old.(Am starting this with Roy at the moment)
Ryan enjoyed listening and singing along with the song. It is great that he has such a positive attitude towards learning this 4th language which I am introducing him.
Last year I started on this project. I had this idea of documenting my experience of teaching the boys to speak, read and write in three or more languages. However as the year progressed I got caught up with other projects that this particular one got shelved.
This year I am taking it out of the cupboard and shaking off the dust on it. Hopefully even with my more taxing work schedule I will be able to complete this e-book by Christmas 2009.
Ryan can now speak and read very fluently in English. He too knows how to read and write in Mandarin. His Cantonese, however, is not as good. He does understand perfectly well when we speak to him in Cantonese but is very hesitant to reply in the same language. He often opts to answer in English as he is more comfortable with it.
He will be learning Japanese this year with Roy and will be taught how to read and write Japanese while I will only focus on spoken and recognition of Japanese words with Roy.( No writing till he is 3.5 to 4yrs old)
Roy can speak and read English. He understands when we talk to him in Mandarin and Cantonese too. I feel that he has more affinity with Cantonese as he is more willing to talk in Cantonese as compared to Ryan.
I intend to introduce the boys to other languages like French, German later on as they progress through elementary/secondary school.
I am looking for contributors to share their stories on how they teach their children in their native language/second or third language and the difficulties /achievements that they went through. If you are interested in sharing your story please drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get in contact with you.