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A High Performing Specialist Academy for Technology & Applied Learning

Author, Sue Cheung, Visits Collingwood

On Wednesday 11 March Collingwood welcomed the author Sue Cheung who wrote the book ‘Chinglish, An Almost Entirely True Story’. 

Sue Cheung, who is a children’s book illustrator, was asked by her agent to write an autobiography about her childhood and teenage years. 

Sue grew up in the UK with her Chinese family and lived above the Chinese take away business that belonged to her parents, and very early in her childhood she was asked to help with the family business.

Sue talked about her book to four different Year Groups, around 300 students from Years 7 to 10.   She had prepared a slideshow aiming to assist the young audience to discover and understand what life was like for a young Asian girl who only spoke English and could hardly communicate with her Chinese parents at home.  During her talk she spoke about certain humorous sections in her book such as the hoovering up of the family hamsters and the traditional Christmas lobster dinner, along with the more serious topics of racism, bullying, child labour (she started to work for the family business at the age of 8 years old), family violence and consequently mental health and depression.

Sue’s book strongly links with an underlying problem in today’s society whereby courageous parents who make the hard decision to migrate from their home country, often rely on their offspring to constantly translate and interpret to the outside world, communicating with what society hears as ‘broken English’.

Her sessions were an eye opener as to how hard it is to find your place in society when you are growing up juggling two different cultures.

Sue’s presentation ended on a high note, explaining how her love for drawing was rewarded by receiving a scholarship to a prestigious design agency.  Her last slide displayed the words: Believe, and you will succeed.

Mrs Teissonniere and Ms Blay - Library Co-Managers

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