My friend and I dropped off our three kids to their first day of a week-long camp somewhere in the middle of Taipei earlier today. We got to stay and observe the opening ceremony. From the back, I was anxious to see if my children were happy and can keep up with the rest of the local campers.

The opening ceremony was high energy and awfully loud thanks to their exceptionally powerful microphones. It was fun to see most of the kids going alone with decent enthusiasm while learning their camp song. My children’s participation was more guarded and hesitant.

Taipei Summer Camp Opening Ceremony

At the end of the opening ceremony, the children were called into their groups and formed a line to go to their individual classrooms. My children and their young friend just sat there, until my friend charged down to where they were, and instructed them to follow one of the groups.

As they slowly walked at the end of the line to their classroom, I walked up next to my baby, and explained some of the camp rules I overheard during the opening ceremony in English. My friend and I lingered outside of their classroom as long as we could until we had to leave. I left un-assured that they are excited to be left there, but hopeful that they will be as their day unfolds.

I have always entertained the idea of sending them to a Chinese camp in Taiwan or China as a way to force my children to speak Chinese. Both of my kids have attended Chinese school since Kindergarten. To their Chinese school’s credit, the kids were able to master their challenging Chinese curriculum during their class, do their 30 minute long daily Chinese homework during the week without much drama, and even earn A or B grades on their intimidating Chinese tests. However, all of these only amount to a shocking mockery that my children completely lack rudimentary conversational skills in Chinese.

I am finally putting my theory to the test, that the ability to speak perfect and natural Chinese is in fact locked somewhere inside my kids, and it only needs a little help–such as pushing them into a group of kids who won’t speak English to them–to unleash the Chinese verbal skills out of them like flood waters. My theory also demands quick results. So, they are in this camp for one week. When I go pick them up on Friday, they will be politely asking for water or ice cream in complete sentence in Chinese.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>