Friday, May 25, 2012

Learning and teaching a new language

I’ve been trying very hard to vary the language and dialects which I use to communicate with the kids. But so far, it only comes, ‘if I remember’. Otherwise it will be only be English and Malay.

Recently I’ve been consciously slotting in Hokkien whenever I have play sessions with them (not too often, depending on their moods too). So whenever they did well, i.e. fix the puzzle, arrange the items or even just sing and count, I will congratulate them with a ‘high-5’ hand-action and then praise them with ‘clever’ or ‘pandai’ (Malay) or ‘gau’ (Hokkien).

Last night, after fixing a puzzle on her own, AIR2 said ‘gau-lah’ and I was caught by surprise! I smiled to myself and praised her for that too. Then she gave me a ‘high-5’.

Then I asked AIR1 ‘Ai chiak dragon fruit boh?’ (Do you want to eat dragon fruit?) I am not sure if he actually understood me, but at first he looked puzzled, but after I repeated, he nodded. It’s either he understood or he just caught the key word ‘dragon fruit’ :D

Indeed interesting to speak and hear them speak new things in return. Here’s to more Hokkien this weekend!

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