The reason I started with Success With Languages was because I thought I could learn to express myself more openly about how I come to be multilingual at a very young age. I also thought I would be learning at least 2 more languages, Spanish and Arabic.
For the past 9 years, I found myself giving more time to my kid and family than learning new languages. It is an honourable task, I must say. Nobody will ever blame you for wanting to be a successful parent. After 9 years of raising a multilingual kid, I can finally give a pat on my own back for a job well done for one good reason. My daughter no longer needs my help to read, speak and write in Mandarin and English.
Last week was the first week of a new school term and she packed her bags independently. Her Mandarin textbook needed a plastic binder. She spent at least 15 minutes getting his done with the help of her father. Something amazing happened after this. The clock was showing 9:00 o’clock ; it was past bedtime already. As I was watching television, I also noticed she was still at the table reading. She was reading her new Mandarin textbook. I said to my husband who was sitting beside me, “She is now riding her bicycle on two wheels. Now she will never have to use the training wheels.”
This is what teaching has taught me.
To observe growth as it happens. To arrest the development of a child as her potential unfolds before your eyes. To allow growth to nurture the child.
To become the facilitator between the child and her environment, and not to interfere with the child’s growth process. 船到桥头自然直 – When the bow of the boat hits the dock, it will straighten itself.
So what happens to Spanish, Arabic, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia?
The quest for success with languages is a lifelong one. I have had comments from readers asking for more tips on learning all other languages. Frankly, I can only offer tips on learning languages which I already know or am learning. I do speak 4 languages and one dialect, and I have been using them successfully in my lifetime. If someone comes up to you and say they can speak 11 languages and promises to teach you to speak any language in just two months, they are pulling your legs. I spent 9 years demonstrating to my daughter how to conquer 4 languages on her own. It has been a long journey but we haven’t given a thought to stop here yet. We will definitely learn at least one more language in future.
Annie, it is good that your daughter has learned to ride bicycle on her own. I’ve a son who is in the formative years and he’s just learning to speak, write, read English. He already talks in two languages and very soon English will add to his list. Your daughter is lucky to have a mum like you. Good luck ahead.
It is exciting to arrive at his point. I am sure your boy will also find great joy in learning because you have his interest at heart.