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Posted by on 12 February 2010
MyEldest & RoundBoy at the computer

MyEldest & RoundBoy at the computer

I overheard my children mentioning the word ‘invulnerable’ as they were playing a game on the computer last weekend. [NB: Normally, while one child plays, the others watch and/or coach and/or intervene if help is needed.]

I asked them if they knew what invulnerable means.

Their answer?


I almost choked in my effort to hold back laughter and amusement. Then I decided to probe just a bit further, “But what does ‘impenetrable’ mean?”

They replied: “You know, like when you try to shoot something tapi dia tak kena (but it doesn’t get damaged).”

Their command of the English language — for non-native English speakers — just continues to astound me.

How do we do it?

  • Conversing with them in English 90% of the time;
  • Reading to them from since they were babies;
  • Watching English-language documentaries with them on Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, and TVIQ;
  • Using new words every chance I get in our daily conversations (and explaining to them what it means in simplified terms, if I have to); and
  • Lots of new reading material for them to read by themselves — usually books which we borrow from the National Library.

In contrast, their Malay is so bad, they don’t even know what pucat means. *sigh*

pucat [pu-chat]
adjective: pale

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