Been trying to get your child to learn Chinese? How’s that going?
We know that you need all the help and support you can get so take a few tips from our team of dedicated teachers to help your child learn Chinese.
At Little Oxford Schoolhouse, our preschool has specialised Chinese immersion activities to help your little ones build confidence in this beautiful yet important language.
You’re probably already aware that there are numerous benefits of learning Chinese.
Apart from the practicality of giving your children a head start with a second language to open more opportunities for them, learning Chinese is the gateway to a culturally enriched life. They will gain an appreciation for the Chinese culture through various mediums such as books, movies, music, and other forms of entertainment.
The winning quality?
Empathy – for friends made now and for friends to come.
Whether Chinese is the predominant language your family uses with your children, it can often be a struggle to get their attention or to just focus.
Here are 5 simple and immersive ways to motivate your little ones (commonly adopted by our bilingual preschool in Singapore too).
1. Play Games
Without the need for fancy board games or elaborate props to engage children, a simple yet timeless game of “I Spy” can be played at home, on the road, and virtually anywhere else.
Keep them and yourselves entertained!
To get the most out of this game, encourage them to describe the object in Chinese.
For example, identify its colour and describe its size. Is it big or small? Long or short?
Once the object has been guessed correctly, remember how they had described it and use the opportunity to correct them if needed.
Offer small rewards too to keep them excited and motivated!
2. Read Chinese Stories
Thousands of years of history make China an expert in Chinese storytelling and the supplier of endless Chinese stories.
Reading to your children not only fosters a better parent-child bond but also helps to improve their cognitive development.
At our preschool in Bartley, reading is a habit we endeavor to cultivate in our students.
There are many Chinese storybooks catered to preschoolers (“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is popular amongst children) that teach them how to identify Chinese characters and familiarise them with the sounds of these characters.
Start early to nurture a habit and love for reading that will accompany them for life.
If your child is attending a bilingual preschool in Singapore or a Chinese immersion preschool, this home-based activity will also reinforce what they’ve learned at school.
3. Enjoy Chinese Music Together
The reason behind hit-song Baby Shark’s success is its repetitive lyrics accompanied by a catchy tune.
Music is, after all, a universal language.
Many children learn new songs very easily.
For parents, this is an effortless way to teach new vocabulary and phrases – through repetition. YouTube will leave you and your children spoilt for choice but as an alternative, you could always turn this into a fun family activity. Dress yourselves up and play musical instruments such as shakers or even clap your hands as you sing to excite them.
Reading song lyrics in pinyin helps greatly with pronunciation but if you’d like to be a little cheeky like your little one, try covering the pinyin discreetly to see how well they’ve remembered the lyrics and perhaps even recognise the Chinese characters!
4. Celebrate Chinese Festivals
Celebrating cultural festivals of Singapore’s diverse racial fabric is a part of our preschool’s Chinese enrichment in Singapore.
Kindle in your children interest for Chinese culture by teaching them the history behind significant festivals such as the Lunar New Year, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Make it fun by providing hands-on activities at home which can include making paper lanterns, preparing festival delicacies, and learning Chinese greetings such as “新年快乐” (Happy New Year) and “身体健康” (enjoy good health).
Your children will have beautiful memories of these festivals and a greater appreciation for Chinese culture.
5. Watch Educational Chinese Shows
Educational content presented in a multimedia format enhances the learning process of children.
With a heightened ability to understand concepts, ideas and values, children develop critical thinking skills which are key to helping them grow as individuals.
The added benefit of watching educational Chinese shows is the convenience of pausing them at any point to ask your children questions or to answer their questions.
Just remember to encourage them to ask or respond in Chinese!
Our Little Oxford preschool in Serangoon has resources to help search for good educational Chinese materials.
If you’re experiencing some difficulty in finding one, feel free to approach your child’s teacher!
Teaching your children Chinese is a wonderful way to prepare them for their world of tomorrow.
While you may experience some obstacles along the way, take heart that learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint – especially for children.
The more you expose your children to the Chinese language, the easier it will be for them to learn it and to love it.
About Little Oxford Schoolhouse
Here at Little Oxford Schoolhouse, we believe that children learn best by igniting a genuine love for what they do and building on the knowledge they already have – primarily exhibited through purposeful and meaningful play.
Find out how our bilingual programme provides children with the foundation they need to succeed in their primary years and beyond! Contact us at 8829 9070 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org