Monday, July 25, 2011

Politics: All Female Work Place.

Anyways, here are some tips from a church mate on how to manage politics in a female dominated work place.
- Don't fight directly with females.
- When complaining to the Supervisor,don't mention names.
- Fight intelligently. You need to know how to play the game. If you engage in arguments with staff, you lose time to complete your work.
- Be professional. You need to find something credible to say to staff before trying to win an argument.
- If you are sick, and staff are trying to guilt trip you on not going on leave:
you have to say something credible that they can't argue with: i.e,
'research says children are vulnerable to sickness. If I am here, I may pass it to them. I don't want to do that'.
- When you speak to the boss: do not be too direct but do not be too vague either.

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Mind your Ps & Qs.

I don't like it when younger staff, especially those in their late teens and early twenties try to give older staff lip about getting work done.

I finally told one of them off earlier. I should have done it earlier, but the way she requested me for assistance in finishing some work was really rude and appropriate.

When I told her off for the way she spoke, her response was, 'fine, I'd do it myself!', which she did. I had my own work to do, and if she wants me to help her, she'd have to sound 'apologetic' and 'humble' about it, rather than being rude about it.

This is definitely the beginning of a good thing.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Speaking Cantonese: a case study.

So today I spoke Cantonese to some of the children. It was pretty interesting to note the children's responses upon listening to the teacher speaking a 'minority language'.

There is a four year old female child, Vee, whom I swear whose Cantonese is better than mine. She's been in the centre since the beginning of the year, and she only speaks Cantonese still.

Due to this, she sometimes randomly tells me things that she doesn't tell other staff.

I.e., her mom bought her a new car seat, or her friend might have gone to the supermarket, and her dad also eats Mandarin oranges. All in Cantonese.

Sometimes she uses words that I don't even know, like today. LOL.I couldn't really ask her to translate it to english though. LOL.

Anyways, I find that responses range from:

- children who speak limited Cantonese, are delighted, and actually respond back in broken Cantonese. This was from a 3.5 yr old male child of mixed anglo-saxon and chinese background, who primarily spoke english at home, but whose grandmother spoke Cantonese.

Primarily this was from the group who were Chinese but spoke English at home, but still had someone speaking some Cantonese.

I find that the children from this group tend to be delighted to speak Cantonese, when another person does, and will try their utmost best to reply in their limited grasp (i.e 'broken Cantonese') of the minority language.

- children from purely Cantonese background. The 4 yr old male child, D. responded in English. However, as I continued in Cantonese, he actually reverted back to responding in Cantonese after a few minutes.

This group tends to start out speaking their home language, and as their fluency in the mainstream language picks up, their use of the home language decreases.

I would believe that children from this particular group tended to be more sensitive to speaking in the 'main stream' language as they always spoke the minority language at home.

- children who spoke only Mandarin, or non chinese background.

For this group, the most they do would look and stare intently. Sometimes they would ask 'teacher, what are you saying?', or 'what language are you speaking, teacher?'

Anyways for the record, I speak Cantonese, and my Mandarin skills are adequate enough to have a short conversation. I speak, read and write English, & Bahasa Malaysia, and a fair bit of Korean.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Community Language

Today I had a child who spoke to me in his own dialect when he was on his own. Which I was surprised, as I had been only using English with him all this while in the past half year.

Perhaps it is so that people, and yes, certain children are more sensitive in wanting to communicate in a 'community language', say English, in australia, when with others, but on their own, they will revert to their own home dialects.

I say sensitive, as I have some girls, who keep giggling in Indonesian non stop once I start a few words in Malay to them. And these girls are competent in English as well.

So when dealing with the more sensitive personalities in public, I will use the 'community language' with them. But on a one to one basis, we revert to 'home dialect' as the child chooses.

Sent from my Nokia phone

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