EncouragementLearning English

你的孩子有个秘密 Your Kid Has a Secret

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。

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6 thoughts on “你的孩子有个秘密 Your Kid Has a Secret

  1. I cannot agree more. Four years ago, the experience that I needed to translate to communicate with my son’s doctor is my motivation to learn English. Not just being a parent of my child, but also be a partner and supporter of my child, it’s essential to understand a bit of English. We want to participate in their school life or friendship as well, and English is the way we are able to communicate with their teachers, friends, etc..

    1. That is a great way to express being both a partner and participant in your children’s lives. I know immigrant parents dedicate themselves to their children’s happiness and think they don’t have time to learn English, but I wanted parents to know that, in fact, learning English will make their children so happy indeed. Thank you for the comment.

  2. that is TRUE, I feel my daughter has more pressure because my family always need her help, although she is in Montreal and far away from us . Sometimes we have to call her for translating important documents and explain academic questions for her young brother.

    1. Thank you for sharing Carly. On the one hand, family members are supposed to help each other and I am sure your daughter is happy to help you and her little brother, but on the other hand, you are right that it does add extra pressure to their already busy and stressful lives. It is fantastic that you are making the effort to learn English because I am sure there are many things you can handle on your own now without needing your kid’s help.

  3. I came to Canada at age 11, I was fluent in 6 months. My parents, aged 35, took a little longer to learn the language, it was not that they didn’t want to learn it, And they did eventually become fluent. Meanwhile I translated for them.

    1. Isn’t it amazing how fast children learn? I completely agree that most immigrants do want to learn English, it is just in my experience with my adult students that they will postpone their own learning because they want to focus all their time and energy taking care of their children and making sure they have a wonderful new life in Canada. I wanted to encourage the adults to spend a little time learning English themselves too as it would also, in fact, benefit their children too.

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