Parent Spotlight Series
The Parent Spotlights are a set of posts featuring different parents in their journeys to raise bilingual children.
From talking to many Chinese parents of my generation, I sense a strong desire to pass on our culture/language to our kids.
But, many of us grew up here, with English as our dominant language. We often don’t feel “qualified” to teach Chinese, or simply don’t believe it’s in the realm of possibility given the unfortunate “jook sing” stereotypes.
It is now a personal mission of mine to inspire parents like my former self (and maybe even you!), to let you know it is possible.
You do not need the "perfect conditions" (two native parents, etc) to do this. And I want to show you this by highlighting different families in their journeys AS THEY ARE DOING IT.
The path to raising multilingual children is messy, and nonlinear. And that’s okay. I hope that from reading about other people's [messy] experiences, you'll give it a shot too!
- Charing ♥
👇 Meet the Families 👇
A Canadian‑born Chinese mother of two, who can't read a lick of Chinese herself at the beginning of her journey. As the only parent who spoke Cantonese, she's raising two Chinese speakers and readers. Read her story.
A mixed‑race family where only one parent spoke Cantonese, Ming is raising two mixed‑race mixed‑language (English, Chinese, French!) children. Read her story.
Pauline did not speak Chinese/Cantonese *at all* (her spouse is the bilingual one). But through her incredible creativity and tenacity, she too is raising two little readers of Chinese! Read her story.
A mixed‑race family living in a community with relatively small Chinese population, Agnes raised a young reader whose Chinese reading ability rivals many native adults i know! Read her story.
Patricia is a family where both parents can speak Chinese, but it turns out life still isn't necessarily "easier"! I'm sure many of you can relate 🥺 Read her story.
Bobo is a dad who decided to teach his son Chinese when his son was a little "older" and *after* his son was already speaking English fluently.
Many folks consider this "late", and very "difficult", but that didn't stop Bobo! He used all kinds of creative tricks to finally raise a Chinese speaker and reader! Read his story.
Fiona raised her mixed‑race kids before so many resources came online in the past year.
Let's hear from a super resourceful (and hilarious!) parent of much older kids, and see what bilingualism could look like further down the road, where the kids have been in English‑speaking school for several years. Read her story.
Peggy's son started her Chinese literacy with her son "late". Her son was already reading English at grade 2 level when she decided she also wanted him to learn to read Chinese. How do you turn a voracious reader in English, to someone who will do the same in Chinese?
Peggy did it, and let's find out how. Read her story.