Saturday, 16 September 2006

>>> Learning Mandarin! <<<

It's my wish that Oliver learns Mandarin and today we rushed ('cos we woke up late!!!) to Joseph Chamberlain College where the Mandarin classes were held. However, I found out that it would be taught in Cantonese! I wasn't too keen as Ollie doesn't speak Cantonese and that means he would have to learn 2 languages at one go. But I was told that there was another group of classes teaching Mandarin using China's Mandarin which takes place in the afternoon. So decided to go back later.

Mandarin have 2 types... the simplified one and the traditional one which makes use of more strokes to write a character. Needless to say the simplified one uses less strokes and is used by China. Taiwan and Hong Kong makes use of the traditional one. Obviously I want Ollie to use the simplified as it's the one that is commonly used in the Far East too i.e. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.

To kill time, we went down to Birmingham town centre. We had to get Ollie shin pads for his soccer practice. Then we went to look for the Lego store and found that it had closed! Shock Horror!!! Managed to get some info that they closed down the franchise something to that effect! So we went to another toy store called the Entertainer and the boys got themselves more Bionicle sets!!!

We went back to the College and I brought Ollie to the class. Found out from the other parents that the beginner class started last year. What was best was the fact that I met with other Singaporeans too as well as Malaysians! Inwardly I was excited as since living here since 1999, I've not met any Singaporean that actually live in Birmingham. We exchanged contacts and hope to meet up as a couple of them are SAHM as well.

The Chinese teacher finally arrived and I think she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of newcomers. Initially she was worried that the new ones wouldn't be able to cope as it wasn't a beginner's class. But as the number of new ones kept rising, eventually she came to the conclusion that there would be a separate classes for the new and existing pupils. Hooray! I can't tell you how difficult it has been for me to find a Mandarin class in this county. There are classes for adults but for kids. it's a rarity! I was determined that somehow he gets into a class! Anyway, we were all told to come back at quarter past three to pick them up.

Picked Ollie after the class and he was happy. He said he wanted to go again. Initially he showed some reluctance but I guess he realised it wasn't too bad after all. Found out from him what he learnt... numbers, face parts etc. something I do know so will write out the notes for him and practise with him.

Back home, the boys built their Legos. Went through my mail too where I had received Scraptitude Oct DT kits and some new scrapping books that I had purchased online. Made lamb rendang for dinner and it was delicious!

Rite, off to put my thinking cap on. Dying to scrap those new papers!

1 comment:

KimmyS said...

I am glad for you that the demn on the class was so huge that are opening another beginners class!

How cool as well that you met more Singaporeans. WOuld be great if you all could meet up during the week.