Why Should Your Child Start Learning Chinese From A Young Age?
In a globalised world, the ability to communicate with people from different cultures is more important than ever. Knowing multiple languages can be a great asset in both our personal and professional lives. For children, learning a second language can open up a world of opportunities, both in their academic and personal lives.
Chinese has become increasingly important as a tool for international communication. It is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1.3 billion speakers. It is also the fastest-growing language, with an estimated 10 million new learners each year.
As such, Chinese is becoming more and more relevant in the business world, and those who can speak it have a significant advantage in the job market. Even though English is the language of international business, Chinese is rapidly becoming the language of choice for businesses looking to expand into Asia.
In addition to being an in-demand language for business, Chinese is also a beautiful and fascinating language. The language is rich in history and culture and provides a unique perspective on the world, and learning Chinese can give kids a window into another way of life.
Additionally, research has shown that learning a second language can improve cognitive skills such as memory, concentration, and problem-solving. It is best to activate these skills at a young age for the best outcome in adulthood.
Of course, learning any language can be difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to help make the process fun and rewarding for kids, including online Chinese tuition. With some dedication and hard work, your child can be on their way to mastering this fascinating language.
Importance of Learning Chinese from a Young Age
Chinese is by no means an easy language to master. Some may find Chinese grammar and characters difficult to learn, but starting at a young age can make the process easier. Children have more time to learn and absorb new information than adults, making them better equipped to handle the challenges of learning a new language.
The Benefits of Learning Chinese as A Young Child
Kids who learn Chinese have a head start on their peers in terms of language ability. Once they are able to master spoken and written Chinese, there is a host of benefits that they can bring with them into adulthood.
Better Career Prospects & Brighter Future
Chinese language mastery opens up doors for your child. It preps them to tackle challenges in the global arena. For school children, that can mean representing their schools in Chinese debate or martial arts competitions. As they grow older, they can consider attending any of the prestigious universities in China or Taiwan.
Once they enter the workforce, Chinese becomes a valuable skill that they can leverage in securing great job opportunities with leading global companies. Learning Chinese will most definitely boost your child’s career prospects and pave the way to a brighter future.
Help Them Become Cultured Global Citizens
Kids who learn Chinese tend to be more well-rounded and global citizens. They are exposed to different ways of thinking and communicating, which can make them more open-minded and adaptable. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, these skills will become even more valuable.
Learning Chinese can also help children appreciate other cultures. China is one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world, and its culture has influenced many others. Learning Chinese can give children a greater understanding and appreciation for the world around them.
Improved Cognitive Functions
Early exposure to languages has many cognitive benefits for children. Studies have shown that bilingualism can improve executive function, memory, concentration and listening skills. These skills often continue to improve into adulthood.
So why exactly does learning Chinese benefit children in these ways? For one, the tonal nature of the language forces children to really pay attention to the way words are spoken in order to distinguish between different meanings. This helps them to learn to listen more carefully in general.
Additionally, because Chinese is such a complex character-based language, it requires children to use both sides of their brain when reading and writing – which can lead to improved memory and focus.
Effects of Learning a Second Language on The Brain
Studies have shown that people who know more than one language have increased levels of cognitive flexibility and executive control. This means that they are better able to switch between tasks, ignore distractions, and focus on the task at hand. In addition, people who are bilingual tend to score higher on tests of verbal intelligence and memory than those who only speak one language.
According to recent research, language acquisition has a significant impact on neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity involves our nervous system and its reaction to stimuli, it is the ability of our brain to change and adapt due to experience. The brain is constantly changing and growing in response to new experiences, and learning a new language provides the brain with a unique opportunity to change and adapt.
Researchers have found that when adults learn a second language, they actually create new neural pathways in their brains. This is an amazing feat of neuroplasticity, and it highlights the brain’s incredible ability to change and adapt in response to new experiences.
Interestingly, researchers have also found that children who are bilingual tend to have more flexible brains than monolingual children. Bilingualism provides children with constant exposure to two different languages, which gives their brains a workout and helps them to become more flexible thinkers.
Evidently, picking up a second language works wonders for our brains, and Chinese would be the perfect language to challenge ourselves with. Although it is advisable to start young, adults can easily start with the basics through part-time adult online classes or even language apps that can be conveniently launched during daily commutes.
Fun Ways to Learn Chinese
For children in Singapore, formal Chinese education is provided in schools. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to supplement their Chinese learning journey with fun learning activities which can be incorporated into their daily lives.
Children will definitely benefit from both the formal and informal learning of Chinese, which will give them a more comprehensive and holistic learning experience.
Learning Chinese Through Making Memories with Chinese-Related Activities
As parents and caregivers, you can easily play a part in your child’s informal learning. The easiest way to do so is to make memories with your child through Chinese-related activities. Here are a few activity ideas that you can include in your child’s everyday life.
1. Write Greeting Cards to Family and Friends
Get your child into the giving and festive mood with hand-made greeting cards that show their utmost love and adoration for their loved ones. Simply choose a simple festive greeting in Chinese and have your child practice writing it a few times before finalising it in their greeting card.
Your child can practice their skills all year round since there are many festive celebrations in Singapore. Furthermore, they can also show their sincerity and expand their Chinese vocabulary by making birthday and get-well-soon cards.
2. Memorise and Rehearse their Favourites Chinese Song Lyrics
Children can easily recall their favourite songs, you can leverage this by using your child’s favourite song as material for Chinese learning. Print out the lyrics of the song and have your child copy the lyrics of the song. Afterwards, hold a mini karaoke session with them and belt out the song to your hearts’ content.
3. Identify Daily Objects in Chinese
This is a simple yet impactful activity that can be incorporated into all the little and big adventures you bring your child on. It can just be as simple as a morning visit to the market to buy groceries or a family trip to the zoo. Identify some key surrounding objects in Chinese and have your child repeat them after you. The next time you see this object, point it out to your child and ask them to identify it in Chinese. Don’t forget to give your child a reward when they get an answer right!
4. Visit Local History Exhibits at the National Museum
It is not enough to learn a written and spoken language. True appreciation comes from understanding the culture and history of the people from which a language comes.
Help your child gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese community in Singapore by visiting our National Museum, which features interactive exhibits and games on Singapore’s local history.
If you ever have the chance, do bring your child for trips to China and Taiwan to visit local museums and historical monuments. By doing so, your child will be able to relate what they learn on paper to real-life events and people.
5. Watch Cartoons and Movies in Chinese
Children love to watch cartoons and movies, turn this into an educational outlet by introducing them to Chinese cartoons and movies. You’d be surprised how fast they pick up the language through such informal means.
6. Play Chinese Writing Tic-Tac-Toe
The classic tic-tac-toe involves just Xs and Os, add some novelty to the game by adding in two Chinese characters and play a few games with your child. You can increase the difficulty of the game by introducing more complex characters as your child’s written Chinese improves.
These activities are not only fun and educational, but they also give you the chance to create long-lasting memories with your child. So pick out any one of the activities above to kickstart your child’s Chinese learning journey.
Different Ways Your Child Can Learn Chinese In Singapore
You can further fortify your child’s Chinese education with various after-school Chinese programs and tuition. Chinese enrichment centers are a good option for supplementary Chinese education. Enrichment classes are kept to a small size to facilitate effective and personalised learning.
How about letting your child learn Chinese from the comfort of your own home? During the pandemic, online tuition classes became the norm. It is now an alternative to face-to-face classes. Online Chinese tuition allows parents to forgo the time and money needed to commute to and fro physical tuition classes. Furthermore, virtual learning also allows for more interactive learning with the use of animation and graphics.
Other than that, Chinese holiday programs are also a good avenue to help your child catch up on their Chinese studies during their holidays. Holiday programs are designed to be both fun and educational, so don’t worry about your child getting bored!
Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that you choose Chinese tuition classes that are aligned with the MOE syllabus. This is to ensure that what your child learns in tuition tallies with what they learn in school.
So where exactly do you find an online Chinese tuition class that provides MOE Chinese tuition?
EliteKid is the Best Platform to Learn Chinese for Kids
EliteKid specializes in providing quality and effective online Chinese lessons in both private and group modes. Our curriculum is carefully developed by a Singapore and China specialist and consultant team to ensure quality and relevancy.
We’ve come up with comprehensive programs that are suitable for kids aged 4-12 years old, from both Singaporean Chinese family grounds or those who are from non-native backgrounds.
Our list of programs includes a MOE-aligned Chinese syllabus program for primary 1-4, Panda Chinese for kids with Chinese speaking background, YCT Chinese & Happy Chinese for Non-Chinese students, and Chinese Holiday Programs.
We pride ourselves in delivering quality Chinese programs through the support of a dedicated team of native Chinese teachers who graduated from reputable and distinguished universities in China. Our program also comes equipped with the latest online learning technologies to ensure a fun-filled and interactive learning experience.
It is never too early to introduce your child to the Chinese language. Start them off with fun informal learning that will ignite a passion in them to learn more. Once they are ready, choose the best Chinese enrichment center that provides a comprehensive program that will continually fan the flames of their passion for Chinese.
Head on over to https://elitekid.com.sg/ to learn more about us and our programs. Sign your child up now and watch them improve with every lesson.