I read linguistics in school and after understanding more about brain development with regard to language, resolved from then on that I would want to raise bilingual child(ren)
if when I have a family. Thus, in our household, the husband speaks in English and I would communicate with Faith in Mandarin .
Early childhood is the easiest time to learn multiple languages. Babies are born with billions of neurons (brain cells). They spend the first few years of life building trillions of synapses (connections) between those cells. For language especially, these first few years are the most “sensitive period” in their lives when they are primed to learn language. At 6 months, human babies are able to differentiate between any sounds that human beings make. But as children age, they begin to “prune” some of the synapses they’ve built. Connections that are important get reinforced, but things which they aren’t using in everyday life may get cut.
It is my desire that Faith grows up being an effective bilingual. While it is relatively easy communicating in simple Mandarin with her when she was an infant, I found it increasingly difficult to do so now as I would need more vocabulary in my daily conversation. What’s making it more complicated is the fact that I am also teaching her using English and I’m not sure if I am on the right track anymore.
So, when a friend told me about this talk called ‘Language Power’ (蓝格子, 跑啊!), my interest was piqued. In the talk show, the speaker, Eeva Chang, would touch on the following (and here, I attempt to translate a few of them):
(The participants will discover if they have language power)
(The participants will experience if they or their children are using the best method in language development)
(The participants will understand if it is really that difficult to learn a language in Singapore)
The above are questions that I have been asking myself too and I thought it would be beneficial to hear her thoughts on them. If you don’t already know Eeva Chang, here is some information about her.
After her university graduation, EEva was awarded the Golden Bell Award (Taiwanese Broadcasting Award’s highest accolade). She then left Taiwan to come to Singapore to fulfil her dreams. She has not left since.
The multi-talented EEva was also a winner at the ASEAN Literary Prose Awards and was also named the Best Producer at the Shanghai International Television Broadcasting Awards show. She was a Programme manager at 100.3FM as well as a presenter and programme producer at FM 95.8 and Rediffusion. I listened to her when I was a young kid and probably learnt Mandarin through that means.
On the education front, EEva was a professional trainer at MOE’s teachers training programme for 8 years. She started her own school EDUPLUS about 20 years ago and has since helped countless students in building their strong foundation in the Chinese language.
This event is the culmination of her years of experience as a Broadcaster and Educator.
When: 20 Sept 2014, 3-5pm
Where: Resort World Theatre, Sentosa
Tickets: You may purchase your tickets from Sistic or call Rediffusion at 62888 3321 to save on the booking fee!
You can also look out for more information on her facebook page.