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Tell a child why she should learn Mandarin

When your child asks you why he/she has to learn Chinese, how would you reply?


If your immediate answer to your child is that China is a top three economies and there are career benefits to mastering Mandarin, it is most probably not going to impress your little one much.



吃得苦中苦,方为人上人


This saying means a person who is able to endure hardship in the process of accomplishing a task shall rise above others and succeed.


A few days ago, my teen quietly expressed her interest to pursue tertiary education in China and asked me how she would go about exploring her options. A quick background story here is that she started in a Chinese primary and is now in an international secondary, taking her first set of IGCSE exams in May/June this year.


I was surprised for a moment because I thought our sights were set on North America. But I quickly composed myself and reminded myself that she is still young and her future world shall continue to change drastically from what I know.


We did some research together on some universities and their offerings, quick reference back to her IGCSE choices and shortlisted some interested universities to follow. 


Thankfully the little extra work she put in along the way prepared her for application to Chinese universities:


  1. Through her time at Trinity Kids, she started her HSK YCT and completed level 4. She would need to sit for level 5 or 6 before applying to university. But as the certificate is valid for 2 years before application, we can wait a little more to take her next/last paper.

  2. She has been continuing her Chinese education. It’s off paced from her Chinese school days but we keep up her interest and positive feeling about the language that she is open to the idea of immersing in the culture.

Off the Chinese school track, it is definitely harder in KL to pursue Mandarin learning. Continuing her Mandarin and feeling the love in the language/culture requires more coordination and effort. I won’t say it is my credit, but instead her extra effort has helped with her character building and self motivation.


孩子,希望你能成为人上人,加油。

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