Sunday, August 28, 2011

first day of Chinese school

Today was our first day of Chinese school. We'll go every Sunday for two hours. Students can start at age three and a half and are matched up into classes by their age and skill level. We're in a class ages three and a half to seven, with all of the students having limited prior exposure to Mandarin. Interestingly, the class are all girls, and I'm pretty sure that five out of six our class are adoptees. I already knew three of the students in the class as they're local to us, and I work with the non-adoptee's dad.

Hannah's in pink third from the right. Most of the other girls are five, six, and seven, so Hannah's by far the youngest. The paid attention really well for the first hour, but after snack time her eyes wandered all around the room and she started playing with her necklace and waving at me. At age three and a half her participation skills are no match for the older girls and she won't speak by herself, repeating back to the teacher, but we can tell she is moving her lips when the group is practicing together.

As she's so young, my goals for Chinese school are to expose Hannah to the classroom environment, spark her interest in learning new words, make friends, and have her participate in cultural activities. Hopefully hearing the sounds and tones at a young age will make it easier for her when she's an older student.

Today we learned:

Hello. Nǐ hǎo.
The teacher used a longer way to say "My name is _____." but I didn't quite get it. I was already familiar with Wǒ jiào _____.
counting to 19
Learning the months of the year was easy. Just say the number of the months (March = 3) and then add on yuè.
water shuǐ
Thank you. Xiè xiè.
Good bye. Zài jiàn.

The teacher talked a little about tones and tried to have the students recognize which tone a word used after she said it, but I don't think any of them got it.

Students were given a coloring page of the Great Wall of China and a dragon and she talked about the significance of these.

Our little family is sleepy after going out for noodles for lunch, Chinese school, and a Target run. I snoozed on the drive home, and Daddy and Hannah are napping in our bed. Big day for a little girl!

1 comment:

  1. That's so wonderful!!! At Hannah's age, any exposure she gets to Chinese culture is going to be great. They are like sponges and will absorb it even if it doesn't seem like they are listening or participating. Lexie watches Kai-Lan and for most of it, she's running around and barely paying attention to the television, but she remembers the Chinese words that she hears and actually uses them in the right contexts which blows my mind.


Please keep blogging safe for everyone. Do not share personal information about us or other users in your comments. Thank you!