I’m the first to admit that my mandarin is disgraceful. I made it through O levels with a C6 and can order food in a restaurant but that’s the extent of my vocabulary. We speak English at home, both my parents never learned Mandarin in school and were unable to help us. My brother fared better than I did, as I fell further and further behind, I disliked the language more and more.
I didn’t want Ally to struggle the same way I did, by the time my mom found me a tutor, the love for the language was long gone. It was something alien to me that I was forced to learn. Now that Ally has shown a keen interest, I decided to sign her up for Berries to sustain that interest.
When we first spoke to her about it, she was teary and very hesitant. She didn’t like the fact that she had to attend class alone and it took awhile to get her used to the idea. I felt like I was bullying her into it but knew we had to perserver for her own good.
Today was her first class, we spoke about it briefly after school and I reassured her that I would be right outside her classroom. We are so incredibly lucky that there was only one other boy in her class, this made it less daunting for her. Secondly , her teacher was very soft spoken but firm which Ally took to immediately. I liked her teaching style and truly appreciated the feedback that she gave at the end of the class.
As we suspected, her comprehension is way below K1 standard. Her teacher says with some home coaching she should be able to catch up as she’s very enthusiastic to learn. I was so proud of her for overcoming her fear about being alone. She looked like she really enjoyed herself and was singing and dancing along when I looked in. We’ve signed her up for a term and will most likely continue with it. I really hope that these classes will boost her confidence to speak Mandarin more.