Archive for March, 2011

The new global language?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Today Zoe had a play-date with her best friend who is 1/2 Italian, 1/2 Lithuanian. Their common language — Chinese.

What is it with the piano?

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

It is said that the future of classical music is bound inextricably to China’s rise. Parent here and you know why. The Chinese are obsessed with having their kids learn a musical instrument.  Chua’s now infamous memoir has barely a word about English, Math or even Chinese. Instead  all the emphasis, discipline and friction of family life center on teaching her kids music. In the West you can pick up a used piano basically for free. Here they are extremely valuable, because everyone wants one.


Latest Pics

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


More pictures of Pudong here

Learning your ABC’s

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Something that I already knew became starkly apparent to me the other day when doing my daily 10 minutes of teaching Max to read (in English). We read the same stories over and over again and sometimes – when Max is reading really well  – I can tell he’s just memorized the text. You need to realy read it, I command, making a mental note never to use that particular story again. In English you are only reading when you sound out the letters. In Chinese, of course, there is no difference between reading and memorizing. The only way to  read a character is to remember it. A huge amount, I suspect, rests on this fundamental distinction.