If you or someone you know is learning Chinese for the first time, there are some essential tips to keep in mind. At the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, Chinese language-learning is a key part of the curriculum. Students receive daily lessons, with most classes co-taught by both Chinese and English-speaking instructors. Ms. April Peng, Primary Chinese Coordinator, offers advice to parents whose children are starting to learn Chinese for the first time.
1: Find Your Voice
Encourage your child to practice speaking Chinese in real-life situations. It’s important for students to converse in real situations outside of the classroom. You can ask your child to greet your neighbors in Chinese, or to inquire about prices in local shops. Practising simple vocabulary and phrases with Chinese speakers will help them build confidence and fluency.
2: Make it Fun
It is crucial for your child to enjoy learning Chinese. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to make it a fun experience. One of the ways is by watching Chinese films. I would recommend checking out Kung Fu Panda 功夫熊猫 (the Chinese language version), the Chinese animation Lotus Lantern 宝莲灯, and Mulan 花木兰.
3: Use Online Materials
There are numerous websites and apps available today that can aid in learning Chinese. One such website is Chinese.littlefox.com, which contains a vast collection of animated stories and lessons in Chinese that are easily accessible online. Chineasy.com is another excellent resource that makes use of a visually appealing system to help users memorize Chinese characters. Additionally, Strokeorder.info is particularly helpful in checking the correct stroke order of each character, which can lead to better handwriting and improved memorization.
4: Finally – Be Brave
Learning Chinese is not an easy task and it requires both time and effort. Your child may not always be in the mood to sit down and learn new words and vocabulary, but they need to be resilient and persistent. Just like learning any new skill, be it playing a musical instrument or speaking a language, it takes time and practice to master it. However, all the hard work and dedication will eventually pay off in the end!
Ms. April Peng has been a faculty member at Yew Chung International School of Beijing for the past 16 years. During her tenure, she has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Primary Chinese language program. Her efforts have led to the program being recognized internationally for its exceptional curriculum. Ms. Peng holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Teaching Theory, as well as a BA in Chinese Literature.