Manual A Naughty Foreign Teacher in China

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If both parents are working, preschool is essentially daycare, which is synonymous with babysitting. Of course, there are absolutely fantastic preschools and daycares in the U. Outside the U.

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Sending kids off to preschool is a no-brainer for many international parents. The schools are generally wonderful, and in many cases, government-funded. After all, I kept reminding myself, my daughter is only 2! She could maybe go next year once she turned 3. The horrors!

As I tried to push the negative voices out of my head, what I found in Shanghai was unlike anything I had heard of back home! Education in China is crazy rigorous, and you can sense its revered level of importance even within preschools. I toured three of them in our neighborhood and not one felt or even looked like a daycare.

We ended up choosing an international preschool, which means that only foreign-to-China passport holders can attend, but which still had significant Chinese influence, such as Mandarin-speaking teachers teaching alongside the English-speaking teachers.

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So we decided to take the plunge and enrolled my oldest daughter when she was just a couple months shy of turning 3. It was like pulling teeth, but she finally agreed to let my daughter attend the first term half-day, but still every day. And you know what? The principal was right on point. As a parent, I love the international way of sending kids to preschool at a younger age, and for a number of reasons that I would never have considered before.

Here are five of them …. For example, our younger daughter had a naughty little habit of biting. When she got upset with someone, she would immediately launch into bite mode, and it was pretty frightening. We enrolled her in preschool right around this time and were worried about all the teeth-marks that were sure to follow, but it ended up being the best thing we could have done for her. As it turns out, most 2-year-olds are terrible oh, really?? I wanted to wrap that sweet teacher in a bear hug!

So our youngest had the opportunity to learn how to redirect her frustrations within an encouraging group setting where she could have lots of practice and not ever feel singled out. Within a matter of weeks, she was displaying incredible self-control and was no longer biting. She actually learned to think before she acted — what maturity! Apparently, though, my oldest daughter speaks perfect Mandarin at school, but she refuses to speak it at home or around our family.

And every now and then, Chinese words and phrases will just automatically spill out of her mouth in conversation, surprising everyone — including herself. She has learned to adjust her use of words and non-verbal cues, a life skill that I know will empower her into adulthood.

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They are instructed to only speak Mandarin, which means the children are hearing both languages throughout the day. When the main teacher instructs the class to please sit in a circle, they immediately hear the same phrase in Mandarin, which is a great way for the children to become familiar with, understand, and even eventually speak the language. This is in addition to one hour of Mandarin lessons every day. Modern office towers and apartments built on razed hutong squeezed our neighborhood from all sides.

Mocky is the poster monkey for the drive to have 35 percent of the population conversant in English by the Olympics. He ate his banana too fast. The textbooks are similar to those the students use to study Chinese. The questions ask students to repeat rather than analyze, evaluate or create.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, the Chinese counterpart of Dora de Explorer

Isolated words are stressed over complete sentences, and students often cannot relate to the terms. When Mocky explores careers, he considers becoming a farmer, a doctor, a nurse, a pilot or a dancer. After injuring himself while trying to juggle, he comes to respect veterinarians and decides he wants to be one. The students had difficulty saying what their own parents did for a living.

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On the blackboard, I wrote down the English for fry-cook, road builder and — for a girl who called herself Cher — fashion designer. He is Yang Liwei. In fifth grade, children are introduced to the future tense. When I asked students to create their own sentences, they translated lessons from their Chinese classes. Chinese culture will attract the world deeply. We will win. View all New York Times newsletters. Then, suddenly, Mocky disappeared. We last saw him in the jungle at the end of fifth grade, angering Ken and Ann by taking them to an all-banana restaurant.

I forgot. Mocky is the creation of Ken Methold, the author or co-author of more than titles, which have sold more than 15 million copies.

He rarely gives interviews. Do you like burgers? Textbooks fill one of its five floors, each the size of an Olympic swimming pool. This being China, Mocky faces some new competition, in the form of a series starring a monkey named Micky. But for all the piles of textbooks, a visitor to Beijing will still have difficulty finding locals conversant in English.

Book Mansion categorizes its manuals by category: leisure English, phone English, taxi English, job-hunting English, even badminton English. My name is Cable Guy. So just what are Chinese people learning about the English-speaking world? I became homeless and I hate Americans. My best student is the local constable, Officer Li. As the rounds of beer kept coming and other customers turned to stare, I compared Officer Li to body parts, told him what to do with himself and appraised his mother. He nodded happily and asked for more. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser.

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