our last payment for Chinese tuition

How hard is it to learn a second language?

You all know that I’m big on language.

You may also know that both of my kids have been studying in international school and unfortunately, making this school choice means their Chinese has a lot of catching up to do.

In the past, I’ve sent them to language centres and hired private tutors in various styles. Last summer, I even accompanied them to Taipei to learn Chinese at an immersive programme for a month.

The result? While the immersive course was great and nothing can compare with the experience in terms of effectiveness, it’s temporary and I cannot afford to let my kids stay there longer than the summer holiday. As for the regular lessons, they were full of ups and downs. Normally they all look promising at the beginning, but as time goes by, the progress would stagger and I could tell it’s time to move on.

Last year, Hillary, my daughter, joined a young entrepreneur competition and surprisingly, the business idea she came up with was specifically designed to solve this vary problem. (I guess she was quite frustrated by such learning experience herself.)

MinorMynas was born out of this context. While I don’t intend to spell out the details here, you are more than welcome to check it out – http://minormynas.com. In the past month, Hillary and I have been working diligently to research, brainstorm and finally decide the best framework for MinorMynas to adopt as we would really want to provide the most effective and yet convenient and fun language learning experience for all kids.

And here I am, paying the LAST Chinese private tuition fees today. Starting from now, I will go through the Chinese learning journey with my kids in the MinorMynas way. I publicly say this out loud so that I would hold myself accountable. I plan to report to you from time to time about the progress and whenever I find any learning points which would be useful for you.

Our aim for this experiment is three-fold:

  1. Achieve fluency in Chinese in less than a year (our definition of fluency: can speak like a native in Cantonese – they still struggle to find the right words at present and read a simple Chinese book on their own with full comprehension).
  2. Learn as much as we can during the process to educate the design of MinorMynas
  3. Launch MinorMynas shortly providing the best online language learning platform for all children

Wish us luck!

~ Joey

Also published on Medium.

Comments 2

  1. Hi, I’m a 17 year old Malaysian now living and studying in Australia. I’m not of “Chinese” descent, but all my life I have been surrounded by Malaysian Chinese friends and I grew up watching a lot of Chinese tv dramas (by reading subtitles either in Malay language or English). I have always been wanting to learn Chinese but have always struggled with it.
    I guess my question now is, how safe is MinorMynas? How do I know whether the person I’m chatting with is truly a kid/teenager and not an online predator? I would really like to try Minormynas but I’m wary of the dangers in the online world when it comes to direct social interaction. (this probably won’t apply to a 12 year old kid, since kids around the same age would surely look like kids on video. but for older teenagers like me, someone who’s 27 and looks young could probably pose as a 17 year old online ?)


    1. Post

      Hi Aishah,
      Your concern is well noted and it is shared by many too. At the moment, MinorMynas is self-governed which means the users will report those who they suspect are not kids under 18. We will respond by asking the parent to provide proof of identity and if we share the same suspicion, we will inactive the account.
      In the second phase of MinorMynas, which is now being built, more advanced security measures will be in place as we really want to provide the safest platform for kids to communicate with each other.

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