Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Connection through Language


Jada may be behind on her language skills, but she does not lack for interest in learning new languages. Between school, friends, and Dora, she knows a surprising number of words in Spanish. What has been particularly heartening is her earnest desire to speak Chinese. She constantly asks me how to say a certain word or phrase in Chinese, or will hear a repeated word or phrase on her Mandarin DVDs and ask me what it means.

Whenever she hears the word “China” – for example, I assisted in the pulpit this past Sunday morning and prayed for work our church supports in China – she says to everyone and no one, “I’m from China.” Not having been around for others’ birth experiences, she finds it completely normal to have been adopted from another, faraway country, not knowing it’s not the typical way new babies are added to families.

So there is a comfort level with her concerning her country of origin, as well as a yearning to speak the language. Thus, though she still struggles in English and our pediatrician has recommended focusing on one language at a time at this juncture, we cannot help but want to figure out how to connect her to resources to help satisfy her craving for more connection to China via language. I guess this means it’s time for me to start brushing up myself.
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