It is a well known fact that learning a foreign language benefits students of any age. When children learn a second language, they get a better understanding of their own, become more creative and display more empathy. And the growing interest in Chinese for kids lessons is proof that the earlier they begin, the faster they’ll learn.
If you are considering signing your child to Chinese lessons, in this post we’ll mention some of the benefits he or she will receive.
On top of that, learning Chinese opens to them a door of opportunities. China is an economic power in continuous expansion, offering a wide range of commercial possibilities to Chinese speakers in the world. Kids that are learning Chinese today are getting ready to embrace those opportunities in the future.
7 benefits of Chinese for kids
1. Learning Chinese is FUN!
What do kids like? Children like to play, to draw, to color, to sing… Fortunately, all those activities must be present in classes of Mandarin for kids. Let’s see why.
Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language (it has 4 tones and a neutral one), so musicality and intonation are present from the first class. Songs and videos help the children learn the new sounds by playing and singing.
Then is writing. Whereas for an adult learning Chinese writing may seem daunting, for kids is as entertaining as drawing or coloring. Not to mention how quiet they are while practicing the different strokes!
Finally, to help them learn how to identify and read characters there are so many playful activities that, with the help of a good teacher, your child will never get bored.
2. It’s good for the brain
Bilingual people tend to connect more with the world and get along better with people of different cultures. In the case of children, their skills to converse and communicate expand, their analysis of information sharpens and their social awareness grows.
Besides, the speed on which a child can learn a new language is greater than an adult’s, who has his mind already loaded with much more information. And to add a third language or more gets easier for a bilingual person.
3. Sharpens the musical ear
As mentioned above, Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, so when someone studies it, but especially children, it helps them to train their ear. Tones play a key role in Mandarin Chinese because a one-syllable word may have different meanings depending on its intonation.
Thanks to that, many students of Chinese find that their singing or music playing improved a lot.
4. Grammar structures improve memory skills
The sentence structures in Chinese are pretty simple for a kid and, especially for an English speaker. For example, the construction “subject + verb + object” is the most common. Thus, “I study Chinese” is as easy as: 我 (I) 学 (study) 中文 (Chinese language), “Wǒ xué zhōngwén”.
Days of the week and months are also easy to memorize. They only consist of the word for “day” (周; zhōu) or “month” (月; yuè) and the corresponding number. So, “Monday” becomes 周一 (zhōuyī) since it is the first day of the week, and “April” is 四月 or 4月 (sìyuè), the fourth month.
5. Improves school performance
An advantage for kids that learn Chinese is that, being as it is a difficult subject, other school subjects become easier. And since it requires using other parts of the brain, it improves the child’s general performance at school,but especially in Mathematics.
This is so because, unlike other languages, learning to count is really easy once you learn numbers from 1 to 10. It follows a very logical process. As an example: 15 is the sum of 10 + 5: 十五 (shí wǔ), and 35 is 3 times 10 + 5: 三十五 (sānshíwǔ).
6. More and better opportunities in the future
If your children start taking lessons of Chinese for kids since an early age (4-5 years old) many doors will open for them in the future, not only in their studies or job positions but also in their interactions with others. Around the world, there are over 1,3 billion native speakers of Chinese, so there will always be plenty of opportunities to converse and practice the language.
On top of that, China is an economic power in continuous expansion, offering a wide range of commercial possibilities to Chinese speakers in the world. Kids that are learning Chinese today are getting ready to embrace those opportunities in the future.
7. It can be a family project
Have you consider it? Even if it is not as easy for you as for your kids, if you do the effort to learn Chinese yourself, you can get some of the benefits mentioned here and others.
Even if you take separate lessons, your children won’t feel they are alone, which, in turn, will boost their confidence. Learning Chinese as a family is a fun way to spend time with them. You can put name tags with them in everything around the house or practice vocabulary lists together, like country names.
Granted, they will correct your every mistake, but that’s why kids can be such good teachers! And if you get to visit China, the whole family will enjoy the trip more.
No doubt, there are more and more parents that consider that lessons of Chinese for kids is an excellent bet for their children.
At Hanyu Chinese School we offer courses tailored to the needs and capabilities of the little ones, with our own material and highly qualified teachers that parents and children feel comfortable with. We also offer courses for adults, depending on your needs and circumstances.
Contact us, we’ll be happy to hear from you. Don’t forget to ask for your free lesson!