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Personal stories

January 2010

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Learning to write

This is our English class at Bow Valley College in Calgary. We are all seniors and immigrants. We are interested in languages.

Lai-Ching tells us about learning to write

Lai-Ching grew up in Canton and Hong Kong. Her first language is Chinese.

Lai-Ching learned to write Chinese over 60 years ago. She learned to write as a little girl. She learned many Chinese characters (word pictures).

Lai-Ching wonders, "Is it more difficult to learn English because my first language is Chinese?"

Some Chinese characters tell a story

  • Lai Ching showed us the character for "woman."

  • The character looks like a woman who is graceful and relaxed. It is from a time when most women stayed in the home.
    • Lai-Ching showed us the character for "man."

    The character "man" is two characters put together. It is from a time when most men worked in the fields.

    No wonder our English alphabet seems strange to Lai-Ching!

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