Top 10 Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child in Chinese
Top 10 Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child in Chinese
Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in the world. So obviously, there are a lot of benefits for your kids to learn Mandarin. However, this language is also considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. To help parents overcome difficulties while raising a bilingual child in Chinese, here are the top 10 tips in Chinese for children to learn this language.
Immerse Chinese into your kids’ daily life
Living near native speakers may be one of the best ways to learn a new language. However, if you don’t have the opportunity to do that, bringing Chinese to your house is a great alternative. Moreover, most parents are very busy finding spare time to teach their children Chinese. That’s why it’s really important to find smart ways to squeeze extra Chinese study into your kid’s daily life. Just simply replace the decoration of your kids’ bedroom with Chinese education posters or place vocabulary stickers around the house or play educational games. If you don’t know how to start immersing Chinese in your kids’ daily life, check out our recommendations.
Make learning fun
Children are easily distracted by things surrounding them. If they don’t enjoy the learning process, they may switch to doing other things. That’s why a lot of parents find it a little bit frustrating to get their kids to focus on learning Chinese. Instead, you can try to make learning fun. Replace Chinese worksheets with learning toys such as colorful blocks with numbers in Chinese and Chinese card games. You can also check out our Marketplace for more fun Chinese learning resources.
Use supplementary resources
Besides mentioned materials, adding different types of learning resources can make the learning process always new and interesting for children. Video and audio materials are great for this. For example, instead of watching TV, you can play an alphabet video for kids to get familiarized with the Chinese alphabet. Listening to native speakers through videos and audio can also help children to practice speaking with a native accent.
Get outside the lessons and seek real-world experiences
Even if you aren't living in China, you can still go out into the real world and get your kids some pleasure from using your kids' new Mandarin skills.
Having your children use Chinese in the real world, even in the smallest way, can be rewarding when learning a new language. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to get this hands-on experience, check out the Language Learning Directory for more suggestions.
Reading and Speaking
Reading aloud is the simplest approach to integrating reading and speaking. Reading aloud keeps your kids practicing those tones all the time, and it allows them to be more critical of how they sound to people when they speak. For example, you can have your kids read and speak out loud the Chinese storybooks you read to them at bedtime to practice both skills.
Listening and Writing
Practicing reading and writing combined is the best way to master those difficult characters. Since so many Chinese characters can look similar, your kids really want to have a firm grasp on the little differences that can completely change a character. An easy way to do this is to read a sentence and write it down. You can also identify any mistakes or difficulties your kids have while writing and help them work on those problems.
Get involved in your kids’ learning
This can motivate your children a lot because they may feel supported when having their parents around. If you don’t have time, just get your kids involved in daily life routines. For example, mothers and kids can cook together. You can learn about other cultures by cooking different dishes from around the world or learn new vocabulary in the kitchen by working together to cook a meal.
Try and find a bilingual playgroup
Ideally, look for a playgroup that focuses on the second language that your child hears less of on a daily basis so that they can have greater exposure to it. If that option isn't available in your area, consider starting one yourself.
Playdates with other children who speak their second language can also be arranged. The more your child is required to use it, the more they will believe that speaking it has a 'meaning' and will be interested in learning it.
Don’t Just Learn The Language! Embrace The Culture
Children are influenced by their parents' priorities. Show them how vital it is to learn a language, and they will work hard to master it. For example, accept the history and culture that underpins the language, celebrate your family's traditions if it's their native tongue, cook the items yourself or seek out eateries that serve them. Festivals should be attended. If your kids find the culture interesting, they will want to learn the language.
Get Your Child to Take Ownership
Include your kids in the dialogue as they get older. You can explain why you think it's important for them to study a second language. Inquire about what has worked for them and what hasn't. You should also encourage them to take advantage of our services as well. They could even be able to use their abilities to teach others at some point.
Here are our 10 tips for raising a bilingual child in Chinese. You can also check out Language Learning Marketplace and Directory for more learning resources. We hope our recommendations can help you overcome difficulties while raising bilingual children.