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You know you’re a Mandarin immersion parent* when….

October 23, 2012

This list comes from things people have told me or emailed me of late, which I’ve turned into this format because I realized I burst out laughing when one mom told me the “fuxi for my kaoshi” line because I knew exactly what she meant. These are clearly all from non-Chinese speaking parents, and mostly folks with no connection to Chinese culture before their kids started in Mandarin immersion. But that’s the majority of people in these programs nationally, so it’s a pretty big cohort.

Would love to hear others to add to the list. Email me or comment below…


You know you’re a Mandarin immersion parent* when….

Your third grader is starting to lose it over homework so you offer to race him looking up the characters in a story he doesn’t know in the dictionary by stroke order. You beat him.

You know what is and how to use it.

You have strong preferences in moon cakes types, and can answer the question “one egg yolk, two or none?”

Your kid says “I have to fuxi for my kaoshi, but after that I’m done with my gongke” and you understand her.

When you reach into your purse for Kleenex you come out with a handful of flashcards.

All the CDs in your car are in Chinese.

You know who the biggest K-pop stars are and have their songs, with Chinese subtitles, bookmarked on your computer.

You own more Chinese dictionaries than English dictionaries.

You can explain to a Kindergarten parent what a measure word is, and get it right.

You can pick out your child’s handwriting on the bulletin board outside his classroom, even though the papers are all in Chinese.

You forget that in most schools teachers speak to parents in English when there are kids around.

*A non-Chinese speaking MI parent. I’d love to see a list for Chinese-speakers, if anyone’s got one.




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