29 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 29

Last year when Josh first started having weekly Chinese dictation tests in school, it was agony.  For him and for me.  He could speak Putonghua (Mandarin) passably well, but he absolutely hates writing the characters.  He is overwhelmed by having to remember so many characters,  the number of strokes.  He didn’t like that I make him do the characters in the correct stroke order.  Why do I have to do the proper stroke order when the final outcome is the same?!


So far, this school year, he hasn’t had any dictation tests yet.  Well, the first one is next Monday.  Instead of the 10-15 characters per week that he used to get, this time around, he has more than double that.

We broke them down to about 12 characters a day that he has to master. He gets ‘tested’ on them every day. The next day, he will get tested on the new batch plus the batch that he has already learned… and so on.  He’s been doing quite well and he’s more than two thirds of the way through.

Because he is now more used to doing the basic strokes and he knows the radicals, new characters do not appear quite as daunting to him as they would have last year.  He is much quicker with learning the characters this time around.  Not to say that he doesn’t complain about having to write them, but it’s been easier for him… and for me, too.

I am thankful that we stuck with practicing the strokes and writing the characters.
Despite my own grumblings when I was learning Chinese, I am thankful that I persevered.
Not that I had any choice, really; but I am really glad, nonetheless.

There is something beautiful and poetic in each stroke and each character tells a story.
I am hoping that Josh will come to appreciate this, too, one day.  Soon.


Kim C. said...

I love this! I think it is beautiful to learn other languages as well. Especially ones that tie you to heritage or something special. I can relate to Josh in learning Thai all those years ago. Totally new alphabet. It was hard! But there is such pride in coming out on the other side! Good for Josh!!

Kim C. said...

This is awesome!!! I can relate in the years learning Thai. Josh will be so glad in the future too. I love learning languages. Hard, but fun! Good for you Josh!!

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