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.
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.
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.
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.