We loved it in Spain and learning Mandarin in Asia here in Penang with the wonderful, kind, very large Chinese community here has been so enriching for us all. Despite, Mozart being the only Caucasian, she has fit in nicely and made lots of supportive friends. We admire the focus on education that is part of Chinese culture.
It is the end of the school year now and these are photos from the large year book from this very large Mandarin school. We left early last year and came back late this year, but feel it has been an extremely effective and positive way to learn Mandarin and understand the culture.
We are about to head into China so will get even more Mandarin and since she is already very strong in Mandarin and use to an all-Mandarin environment, immersing there with non-English speaking locals and a school, should help her advance even deeper to make the most out of this trip. The timing couldn't be better to make a huge jump in deeper fluency.
We'll return to tropical Asia for Christmas and begin a new year at our Chinese school in January to continue to focus more on her written Mandarin which is the hardest and most time consuming part. Some say it is like memorizing 400, 000 pictoral words.
Mozart is a very social kid and has really enjoyed her many friends here and loves the social life, reading all the books in the huge library and many competitions. She is proud to have won the elocution contest last year, sung a solo, choosen to give a speech for Earth Day earlier this year and has waited months for the big singing competition.
We are thrilled that she made it to the top 5 to compete in the final singing competion on this coming Monday and will sing a Mandarin Pop song. She loves to sing, perform and write songs in three languages and has enjoyed being in the large choir here.
Yes, learning Mandarin can be a lot of fun when you have a little help from your friends! It took us a few classes to get it right, but we find this school to be a very fun place for our tween to immerse in Mandarin and Chinese culture with a lot of sweet, bright, wholesome kids.
MORE ABOUT LEARNING MANDARIN IN ASIA AND CHINESE SCHOOL