Author helps Chinese residents navigate new life in Vancouver — from brunch to Wreck Beach (via Vancouver Courier)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in About the Book, Media
Vancouver ESL teacher Kari Karlsbjerg’s book My New Life in Vancouver aims to help new Chinese Vancouverites transition to life on the West Coast.
Photograph By DAN TOULGOET

Of all the places to tackle the nuances of the English language or uniquely Vancouver customs, Kari Karlsbjerg suggests the breakfast table as an ideal starting point.

How coffee is served and in what size, the way eggs are cooked or the kind of meat that rounds out the meal are details that both serve the stomach and start conversations.

Those talking points fill the pages of Karlsbjerg’s book, My New Life in Vancouver. Aimed specifically at new Chinese Vancouverites, the book draws on Karlsbjerg’s 16 years teaching English as a second language. “They’re here and they have a lot to offer, but what they ask me all the time is, ‘How?’” she said.  “I’m trying to be brutally practical in the book and straightforward.” Karlsbjerg’s book covers not just literal translations but also cultural and societal norms wrapped around 365 entries that touch on aspects of Vancouver life specific to each day on the calendar.

Source: Vancouver Courier

Richmond News Article about Book

Posted Leave a commentPosted in About the Book, Media

Today the Richmond News wrote an article about our book. It is very exciting to get their support to spread the word about the book to newcomers from China. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Karlsbjerg also mentioned that, in her direct experience with hundreds of immigrants from China, many really want to learn about the way of life here, but they just don’t know how, and they don’t want to make a mistake or offend anyone.

“The biggest challenge for newcomers is that they want to be part of the community but they don’t know how. They want to wait for the ‘perfect’ moment to integrate with the community,” she said.

“For example, some want to wait until they feel their English is perfect and  so will spend more time and effort to help their kids, but not themselves.”

The book, which was translated into Mandarin by Zheng, has 365 daily readings, covering a wide range of topics such as local customs, entertainment, different ways of thinking, newcomer support and parenting in Vancouver. It also contains 50 mini English lessons with free pronunciation audio guides to the lessons on the book website.

 

保持联系 Keep in Touch

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Building Community, Encouragement, Newsletter

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Please sign up for our free newsletter and receive regular updates about daily life in Vancouver and invitations to free workshops and special events. We are building a community of people who are making a wonderful new life for themselves in Vancouver.

http://www.mynewlifeinvancouver.com/newsletter/

我们诚挚地邀请您加入我们“温哥华新生活”俱乐部,定期收到有关温哥华生活的最新信息,并请您参加我们的研讨会和特别活动

你的孩子有个秘密 Your Kid Has a Secret

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Encouragement, Learning English

I would like to share with you something that your children would like to tell you but are much too uncomfortable to tell you: they really, really want you to learn a little English.

我想与你分享一些你的孩子想告诉你的话,但说出来可能不太舒服:他们真的希望你能学点英语。

Before I switched to teaching English to immigrant adults, I taught their teenagers, usually advanced writing skills needed for the SAT, TOEFL and IELTS tests. Over the many tutoring sessions working together, they would feel comfortable enough with me to share some of their teenage challenges. For the most part, they had the universal teenager problems such as dealing with stress to feeling shy around classmates of the opposite sex.

在我开始为移民人群教授英语之前,我一直在教他们的孩子,通常是SAT、托福和雅思考试所需的一些高级写作技巧。在许多课外辅导课上,他们非常乐 意与我分享他们孩子面临的一些问题和挑战。大多数时候,这些青少年都面临着多方面的压力,通常会感到害羞,害怕与异性同学交往。

However, for many of the students of immigrants, one stress in their life that they really wanted me to help with was to convince their parents to learn a little English! They wanted to resign from the position of translator and be ‘just a regular teenager’.  One shy boy shared his deep embarrassment at having to go to the doctor with his mother to translate for her. Another young lady shared her worries about a conversation she translated at a lawyer’s office where she found out stressful details about a legal situation threatening her family’s finances. These ‘grown-up concerns’ were an extra burden on their young shoulders and still immature minds; however, these sweet and kind teenagers were so respectful and grateful to their parents for all their love and support that they would never share this secret wish with them.

然而,对于很多新移民的孩子来说,他们真正需要我帮忙的是说服他们的父母学点英语!他们想摆脱翻译者的身份,只想作为一个普通的青少年。一个害羞的男孩与母亲一起去医院,而他还要为母亲充当翻译,他感到非常尴尬。另一位年轻的女士则分享了她在律师事务所翻译的一段对话,她表示担忧,因为她发现了有关法律威胁到她的家庭财务状况。这些“成人的担忧”给孩子带来了一种额外的负担,而且他们的思想还不成熟;但是,这些善良的青少年非常尊重和感激父母对自己的爱,绝不会与他们分享这个内心的秘密。

So I am sharing this secret with you now. With all the time, effort, money, and energy that you expend towards preparing your children for a bright future, I encourage you to consider also learning a few basic English skills for daily life. Believe me, learning some basic English skills will not only please your kids, but it will truly make your new life in Vancouver much more enjoyable for yourself too.

那么,我现在把这个秘密分享给你们。为了给孩子一个光明的未来,你花费了所有的时间、精力和金钱,所以我更要鼓励你学习日常生活中一些基本的英语技能。请相信我,学习一些基本的英语技能不仅会让你的孩子感到开心,而且会给你在温哥华的新生活带来更多快乐。

逐步 Step by Step

Posted Leave a commentPosted in About the Book, Encouragement

学习和记忆新信息的最佳方式是每天阅读一点点。作为一名ESL资深讲师,我知道这是事实。我们的书——《我在温哥华的新生活》含有大量新信息,是帮助这座城市的新移民了解当地温哥华的日常生活、组织机构、风俗习惯等。因此,我和郑义编写这本书,一年的每一天都要阅读一点点。一天一次,一个简短的读书时间(用英语和普通话编写)会让你对温哥华的生活有深刻的了解。日常阅读的主题有“日常习俗”,“西餐厅”,“如何与当地人见面”,“如何找志愿工作”,“保健指南”,“最好的学校”等等。当然,如果您急于阅读某个主题中的所有条目,那么在本书末尾的索引中可以很容易地找到你所需的全部信息。然而,你为何不花些时间,一点一点地阅读,享受阅读的过程呢?

The best way to learn and remember new information is in small pieces every day. As an ESL instructor for many years, I have known this to be true. Our book, My New Life in Vancouver, is full of new information that immigrants to the city will find helpful about the everyday life, organizations, customs, and habits of local Vancouverites. Therefore, Yi Zheng and I have organized the book to have a small reading for each day of the year. One day at a time, one short reading at a time (written in both English and Mandarin) will give you a deep understanding of life in Vancouver. The topics of the daily readings have themes such as “everyday customs”, “western restaurants”, “how to meet locals”, “how to find volunteer work”, “guide to healthcare”, “best schools” and many more. Of course, if you are in a hurry and want to read all the entries in a certain theme, then it is easy to use the index at the end of the book to quickly find all the information you need. However, why not take your time and enjoy the journey step by step, day by day?

在温哥华的美好新生活 Your Beautiful New Life in Vancouver

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in About the Book

每一个城市新移民都梦想着在新的家里开启新生活。聆听我的学生对温哥华新生活的憧憬和希望,是我作为ESL讲师最大的乐趣之一。他们对选择移民温哥华的美好评论让我重新认识了家乡,记住了家乡的诸多美好。选择移民是因为他们看到了希望,这需要他们积极、乐观、勇敢和创造奇迹的心态才能离开自己的家园,去另一个国家建立新的生活,尤其是需要学习新的语言和新的文化、习俗和思维方式。然而,当居住许可拿下来,购买房产后,孩子们在新学校登记入学,我有时会看到学生们失去了最初的精力和兴奋。事实上,对于能否在这里过上美好的生活,他们是会有泪水和疑虑的。他们和我一起分享了在这里未知的日常生活,他们甚至会感到不知所措。我尽力回答他们关于日常生活中的实际问题和文化习俗,帮助他们建立信心,向新生活迈进,但我不能亲自与大家见面。因此,我和郑义在本书中尽最大努力编写了关于温哥华的日常生活和文化习俗,以及常见问题的答案,便于帮助所有需要的人获得信息。我们已经完成这本书,希望它能鼓励你,让您创造温哥华的新生活。
Every immigrant to a city has a dream for their new life in their new home. Listening to my students’ hopes and wishes for their new life in Vancouver is one of the biggest pleasures of my job as an ESL instructor. Their lovely comments about choosing to move to Vancouver help me remember the many reasons to appreciate my hometown. Choosing to immigrate requires a lot of hope, bravery, and optimism to leave one’s homeland and build a new life in another country, especially when it requires learning a new language and new culture, customs, and ways of thinking. However, once the residency paperwork is done, the home is bought, and the children are registered in their new schools, I have sometimes seen students lose some of their initial energy and excitement. In fact, there can be tears and quiet doubts about whether they can succeed at building a good life here. They share with me how they feel overwhelmed by all the things they don’t know about daily life here. I do my best to try and answer their many questions about the practical and cultural details of daily life, so they can build their confidence and move forward, but I simply can’t meet personally with everyone. Therefore, Yi Zheng and I have tried our best to compile all the answers to the most frequently asked questions about everyday life and culture in Vancouver in our book so that we can help get the information out there to all who need it. We have written the book with information and encouragement for you to create YOUR New Life in Vancouver.