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Going to Beijing with a Mandarin-speaking guide: Your daughter

February 27, 2021

A nice article about a mom going to Beijing with her Mandarin-immersion educated daughter, pre-pandemic.

The Chinese Lessons

By Jill Bronfman

People told me that my daughter was fluent in Chinese, but before we went to Beijing together I used to have to take their word for it. She had been in a Mandarin immersion program since she was three years old, but since I didn’t speak Mandarin myself, I had to be satisfied with the occasional school speech or compliment from a fellow parent who did speak the language. The opportunity to test this abstract theory of bilingualism in the field presented itself in May when I was asked to speak about the development of artificial intelligence in educational technology in Beijing. I decided to bring my daughter with me as travel companion, translator, and wing woman.

The last time I went to Beijing, I was the same age as my daughter was on this trip, but so much had changed for sixteen-year-old girls, and so much had changed in China. I thought I was worldly, but my world was small. Today, China is a vivid juxtaposition of impenetrable technology and touchable antiquity. Today, a teenager is full of WeChat and snarky memes that she has to explain to me.

Please read more here.

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