Learn languages in 3 simple steps
1. FUN - Make learning fun by Incorporating play based activities or take learning outdoors. We would bring flashcards outdoors (garden, grocery shopping etc) and play matching games. At one point when our boys were crazy over Nerf guns, we would reward them with more ammunition during a Nerf gun battle if they could count and ask for it in Mandarin. Another favourite learning activity is when reading Olivia, we would incorporate learning about the art pieces mentioned in the book. As the children got older we would then bring them to the Metropolitan Museum and look at the actual paintings in the book.
2. RELEVANT - Make learning relevant - Learn the language and the culture of that country. Here are some link to our previous blog posts on Chinese Cultures.
The Humble Chopsticks 筷子: Do you know how deeply rooted chopsticks are in the Chinese culture? The Chinese are thought to have used chopsticks as early as 1200 B.C., firstly as a cooking utensil. It was not until A.D. 400 that people began eating with chopsticks as they found them efficient.
Chinese dumplings 饺子: Whilst 饺子 (jiǎozi) or the Chinese dumpling is a quintessential Chinese delicacy that is consumed and appreciated everywhere, it is also the most important dish for celebrating Chinese New Year especially in Northern China.
3. ENGAGE - Look for books or cartoons in the language that you are learning, that your child can relate with. Here are some of our suggestions.
My Little Pony 小马宝莉: Twilight Sparkle is sent to a small town called Ponyville to learn about friendship where she and her assistant Spike meets five other fellow ponies: Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie. Each of the ponies represent a different facet of friendship: Applejack – Honesty; Rarity – Generosity; Fluttershy – Kindness; Rainbow Dash - Loyalty, and Pinkie Pie – Cheerful and Playfulness. Together, the little ponies travel around Equestria helping others and at the same time working out problems that arise in their own friendships.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar 好饿的毛毛虫 by Eric Carle: One of the greatest children’s classics, a much-loved story about a ravenous caterpillar growing into a beautiful butterfly. With its vivid and colourful illustrations, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has won over millions of loyal readers. Its deceptively simple story not only teaches us about the life cycle of a caterpillar, but also days of the week, numbers and various types of food.
Bob the Builder 巴布工程师: "Can we fix it?" "Yes we can!" Bob the Builder along with his friends demonstrates the importance of teamwork and a can do attitude in each episode. The show emphasises on resolving conflicts, teamwork and various important social skills.
Monster High 精灵高中: Monster High series follows a group of teenage characters who are the children of famous monsters in media and film as they attend high school.
Masha and the Bear 玛莎与熊: Masha and the Bear is a Russian animated television series loosely based on the oral children's folk story of the same name. She is a lovable little girl who is inquisitive and very restless. She is a friendly and extremely innocent, but is very mischievous. The series focuses on her adventures and a fatherly bear that always keeps her from disasters. Very endearing series on father daughter relationship.
Click here to watch the selection of cartoons that we have mentioned. You also access here for a selection of DVDs (Cars, Hero, Mulan etc) if you are going on a road trip or if it is that is just simply more convenient for you.
Make learning great again!