not a beep, not a sound

Is it me or has anyone noticed how quiet and unresponsive our teens are these days? I’m wondering if it could be a language problem because many of the kids who emerge from 6 years in Chinese schools seem to be linguistically-challenged when it comes to speaking English.

As I was saying, I was looking forward to chatting up the carload of teens (Steev’s college mates) during my carpooling runs. And so I have tried, on many occasions, to strike up conversations with them. But somehow it always ends up with me asking questions hoping to trigger off a lively conversation but getting one-word answers instead.

Okay, I’m going to venture a few guesses here. Could it be because these kids are intimidated that I speak in complete sentences, usually without the much-loved local suffixes like lah, mah, lor, leh and what have you? No, I’m not a fan of Manglish.

The other thing I can think of is that they have problems understanding the vocab that I use. Most kids these days have a vocab of probably only a couple of hundred simple English words. Very sad because that’s hardly enough to express oneself fully. Hence the one-word answers.

So much for my high hopes of engaging conversations. Not a beep, not a sound. My car is strangely quiet as all my teen passengers go to sleep the minute they get on, probably a ploy to ward off conversations with a chatty mom.

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