Welcome to Our ABC Stories!
In 2023, WuKong Education’s “Tell Us Your ABC Story: Global Contest” invited Chinese families worldwide to share their tales. Actor Daniel Wu and author Vincent Yee judged 21 finalists, awarding Mimi Peters from Gibraltar the Family Storytelling Excellence Award for her touching story “The Winning Battle.” Mimi’s heartfelt journey teaching her son Chinese, showcased through delicate writing, resonated with Judges Daniel Wu and Vincent Yee, highlighting the challenges and surprises in the learning process.
Once upon a time, in the vibrant city of Hong Kong, there lived a loving and determined mother named Li Mei. Li Mei had grown up in a bilingual environment, speaking both Chinese Mandarin and English ﬂuently. She believed that language was a key to opening doors in the world, and she wanted her six-year-old son, Titan, to have the same advantage she had.
Determined to help Titan master both languages perfectly, Li Mei decided to arrange for him to study Chinese online for two hours every week. She enrolled him in a virtual language program with high hopes for his progress. Little did she know that the journey would be ﬁlled with challenges.
In the beginning, it seemed as though progress was a distant dream. Titan would often get distracted during the lessons, his attention span drifting away to his toys or the world outside the window. Li Mei would struggle to keep him engaged, resorting to promising him snacks as a reward for paying attention. The lessons became a constant battle of focus and concentration, with little improvement in Titan’s language skills.
Months went by, and Li Mei’s determination started to waver. Doubts began to creep into her mind, and she couldn’t help wondering if she was pushing Titan too hard or if her methods were ineﬀective. She pondered whether she should let him learn athis own pace or seek alternative methods to nurture his language skills.
One day, as Li Mei and Titan were having a conversation with their family in Hong Kong, something remarkable happened. They were celebrating LiMei’s mother’s birthday, and the family gathered around for a joyous occasion. Li Mei was chatting with her mother in Chinese, sharing fond memories and laughter.
Unbeknownst to Li Mei, Titan was listening intently to their conversation, his eyes glimmering with curiosity. As the conversation reached its peak, and amidst the joyful atmosphere, Titan suddenly spoke up, surprising everyone present. “生日快乐，奶奶！ (Happy birthday, Grandma!)” he exclaimed, his pronunciation nearly ﬂawless.
LiMei was astounded. Her heart swelled with pride and joy as she realised that all the eﬀort and struggle had not been in vain. Titan had been absorbing the language all along, even though it seemed as though he was not making any progress during his online lessons.
Tears of happiness welled up in Li Mei’s eyes as she hugged her son tightly. She realised that language learning was not solely about structured lessons and textbooks but also about the environment and the everyday interactions that surrounded them. Titan had been silently absorbing the language through their conversations and had ﬁnally found the conﬁdence to express himself.
From that day forward, Li Mei approached language learning with a new perspective. She understood that Titan’s progress might not always be evident, but she remained steadfast in her belief that exposing him to both languages was the best giftshe could give him. She continued to encourage their bilingual conversations, weaving Chinese and English seam- lessly into their daily lives.
As the years went by, Titan’slanguage skills ﬂourished. He became a ﬂuent speaker of both Chinese Mandarin and English, eﬀortlessly switching between the two languages depending on the situation. His bilingualism opened doors for him in school, social settings, and even- tually his career.
Looking back on their journey, LiMei realised that her initial doubts and struggles had only made their bond stronger. The challenges they faced together had taught her the power of patience, perseverance, and had rewarded her with the beauty of witnessing her son’s growth.
Li Mei’s heart swelled with gratitude for the unexpected gift her son had given her—the gift of determination, resilience, and a reminder that true progress sometimes comes when we least expect it.
“The Winning Battle” has guided us through an extraordinary journey. WuKong’s “Tell Us Your ABC Story: Global Contest” has garnered an array of narratives from authors with diverse backgrounds, spanning across different countries, ages, and professions. We eagerly anticipate immersing ourselves in the rich tapestry of life within Chinese families – embracing the warmth and resilience of familial bonds, along with each author’s deep-seated affection for Chinese culture. This contest has become a global platform, gathering stories that represent a multitude of perspectives, thereby enhancing our comprehension of the Chinese cultural experience.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, WuKong Education is the premier online education provider for students 3 to 18-years old. With more than 3,000 teachers around the globe and a dedicated curriculum team developing original courses, WuKong Education brings the best of online live classes and self-paced learning together in a single, interactive, engaging platform that is available anytime, anywhere.