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Why Chinese Mothers are Superior...??

  1. #49
    carang's Avatar
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    i think that part of the chinese "need" to drill and learn by rote can actually be blamed on their written language. there is no way to learn to read/write chinese UNLESS you memorise the characters. you can't "sound it out" like you can using phonics when learning english. english is a language (and i would argue so are other european languaes) that can be broken down and learned a little at a time. there are various methods to teach it and different ways one can learn it..... chinese is just not the same. to become literate in chinese, one must learn THOUSANDS of characters.

    the problems arise when they use the same mentality and method to teach other things...

  2. #50
    marie313 is offline Registered User
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    wow, and people wonder why there is such a high suicide rate in hong kong...

  3. #51
    camsurrey27 is offline Registered User
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    Shocking is all one can say to this. Perhaps chinese mothers should ask for an A.I child (robot = artificial intelligence). Raising an unemotional misfit of society is the outcome! Hardly surprising that western men choose asian girls to play with, they only know one answer 'yes sir'!

  4. #52
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    Carang, English pronountiation is tricky also, specially when you learn it as second language. There is not fixed rule, and some words, like "read" can be pronounce in different ways. I prefer languages like Spanish, with clear rules about how to pronount each word.

    And about learning thousands of characters, well, that always happen when you have to learn a new language, right? And Chinese characters do have a structure. ... No fixed rule, but some characters can be grouped... Like characters related to wood or items made of wood, may have a wood character in it. Same for characters related to water, fire, etc
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  5. #53
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i think that part of the chinese "need" to drill and learn by rote can actually be blamed on their written language. there is no way to learn to read/write chinese UNLESS you memorise the characters. you can't "sound it out" like you can using phonics when learning english. english is a language (and i would argue so are other european languaes) that can be broken down and learned a little at a time. there are various methods to teach it and different ways one can learn it..... chinese is just not the same. to become literate in chinese, one must learn THOUSANDS of characters.

    the problems arise when they use the same mentality and method to teach other things...
    There has been a lot written on this subject, actually. And actually, Chinese characters are composed of parts that are called radicals so there is some way to decipher them and they are not just always memorized as a whole, except for rare or extremely complicated characters.

    Characters basically have a left side and a right side. One side gives hints or clues about the meaning of the character (the radical) and the other side gives the sound (pronunciation) of the character. For example, the word "hot" in Chinese has a radical for "fire" so many things related to "fire" in some abstract sense would also have this radical. This is not true of all Chinese characters but of some. This helps in the memorization process. But, yes, in order to be literate in Chinese one must write, write, write and read, read, read.

    Also, there has been some study and writing about the role of Confucianism has in the influence of academic culture in Asia. In Confucianism, the best a student can hope for is not to be innovative or different or even better than his/her teacher but to be an exact replica of the teacher. So, it's a product vs. process dilemma between Asian education and western education. Asian education stresses perfection in product so the student is told to copy the master's work over and over and over again (rote learning) until the work is exactly like the master's. Western education stresses the process of learning and of self-discovery (individual-driven society, unlike Asian group-driven society) so the student is encouraged to learn while making mistakes and eventually to arrive at a product that is different and possibly superior to the master's.

    So, the quote from Amy Chua that "nothing is fun until you're good" is a very Asian education concept. The product must be perfect, otherwise all is wasted.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #54
    carang's Avatar
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    thank you, i do realise how the chinese language is constructed. but i stand by my statement.

    in english, you learn 26 letters and those 26 letters make up virtually every word in the english language (exceptions being those words that are imported into the language).

    however, to read a chinese newspaper, you need to read, on average 5000 characters. THAT is completely different to learning to read english.

    not only that, but you might know the individual characters, but not know that when they are combined it changes the meaning (kind of like compound words in english).... eg: siu sum.... little heart... = be careful....

    anyway, i'm too tired and too sick to try to explain myself clearly... i hope that makes some sense.

  7. #55
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    thank you, i do realise how the chinese language is constructed. but i stand by my statement.

    in english, you learn 26 letters and those 26 letters make up virtually every word in the english language (exceptions being those words that are imported into the language).

    however, to read a chinese newspaper, you need to read, on average 5000 characters. THAT is completely different to learning to read english.

    not only that, but you might know the individual characters, but not know that when they are combined it changes the meaning (kind of like compound words in english).... eg: siu sum.... little heart... = be careful....

    anyway, i'm too tired and too sick to try to explain myself clearly... i hope that makes some sense.
    All I know is that I have friends from all walks of life and different countries who started studying Chinese in their teens or twenties (not exactly the ideal age for picking up new languages--that would be a lot younger, right?) and are now fluent in Chinese and literate (can both read and write well enough to score well on the HSK which is the equivalent of the TOEFL test for Chinese)--and they were out doing the "college thing" and partying and having fun and not at home memorizing characters by rote. They also didn't come from Asian countries that employ a Confucianist education system--most were western educated. So, I do believe that it's a bit of an oversimplification to make Chinese out to be harder than it is. I think it's hard for sure but I think it's not so much harder than English--just difficult in different ways. English grammar, for example, is awful for people learning the language as a second language. But, yes, I do see your point about the rote memorization coming in some part from the language. There are other ways to learn Chinese, however, apart from rote memorization and my friends are just proof of that.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #56
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    I, for one, thought the article was hilarious and will be getting the book. As a Chinese-American, I thought she was over-the-top, but that may be for literary effect. Will only know after reading the book, won't we? Also, as someone wisely pointed out, this is a memoir, not a how-to book. In the meantime, I'd like to point out that the tone of many of these comments are quite judgmental and the assumptions made about 'Chinese' and 'Western' are already ugly, betraying the authors' own prejudices. Normally, I would flag offensive comments, but there are so many in this string, what are we going to do - flag the whole thread? To tell you the truth, this thread has been much more painful to read than the WSJ article, because of the vitriol directed at one person whom none of us know personally.

    We're all interested in parenting - as we're on this forum. Are we incapable of tolerating differences in adults? Many people do things differently from the way each of you do. In fact, each of you will do things differently from each other. Let's just take a deep breath, pause, and hug our children (if that's all right with you). I, for one, aspire to love both adults and children consistently.

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