5 Ways to Inspire Your Child to Love and Learn Mandarin Chinese

In the modern and globalised world, there’s no denying that learning Mandarin is becoming more valuable than ever before. Being one of the most spoken languages globally today, knowing how to speak and understand this language can be a very useful and sought-after skill.

Roughly 1.1 billion people speak Mandarin, so having your child learn this language will allow them to possibly interact with more than a billion people not just in Asia but across the world! This will significantly open up an array of opportunities for them in the future, like getting admitted to great schools and even working at a multinational company. 

Since Mandarin involves learning language, sounds, patterns and drawing, it will help improve your child’s cognitive development as they learn to interpret sounds, count numbers and gain proficiency in logical and creative thinking.

And because Mandarin learners are exposed to thousands of characters, this language can also help a child to better understand a vast number of visual symbols and learn about visual communication.

How to Get Your Child to Love Learning Mandarin

Here are a few easy ways to inspire your children to learn and become fluent in Mandarin while helping them develop a love for it.

1. Enrol your child in a bilingual programme

The demand for bilingual programmes has increased in Singapore, where both English and Mandarin are commonly used. Signing up your child in a bilingual programme will expose them to the two most dominant languages used in the region.

A bilingual programme also offers opportunities for your child to learn Mandarin in an environment supervised by native speakers or bilingual role models. This is particularly helpful if Mandarin isn’t the language that your family speaks at home.

Expert teachers are better placed to help guide your child on how to read, write and speak in Mandarin and explain the rules and patterns that this language entails.

2. Support their learning journey through fun and engaging connections at home

Children are naturally inclined to games and playdates, so why not take advantage of them to support their learning journey? This, in turn, will help build their love and interest in Mandarin in the most natural way possible. 

You can play classic games such as Simon Says, Memory and Action Games to help your children remember some of the vocabulary items they’ve learned in school, or consider purchasing a new board game with instructions in Mandarin.

You can also be a little inventive and change the rules, which makes it more fun and less stressful for your children. 

A bit of competition can be an excellent motivation for children. You can use points or a countdown timer to make it more exciting. Whilst prizes and rewards can be considered, we recommend that children be encouraged to play for fun. Developing intrinsic motivation is more important than aiming for a prize.

3. Introduce them to Chinese Culture

One of the best ways to inspire children to learn Mandarin is to introduce them to Chinese culture, help them connect emotionally to the origin of Mandarin, and make the learning process more fun. By developing a genuine interest in Mandarin, they’ll be motivated to learn it, not because they need to, but because they want to.

Encourage your child to order their favourite dish at a Chinese restaurant or to share the phrases they are learning in class with shopkeepers or restaurant staff.

Share with your children the rich history of the Mandarin language, different Chinese myths and tales, and the meaning behind common proverbs and idioms.

You can also bring them to fun events and festivals in Singapore, like the Lantern Festival or Dragon Boat Festival, to stir their curiosity and build their appreciation for learning this important language.

4. Apply Mandarin to their everyday routine

Integrating Mandarin into your child’s everyday routine is undoubtedly an effective way to help them quickly learn and adapt to the language. When talking to them, ensure you’re using the language when possible.

Try doing an everyday exercise with them where you’ll ask them simple questions to encourage them to have a conversation in Mandarin.

Regular trips to Chinatown or a Chinese restaurant can also be beneficial. Encourage your child to ask for directions, place food orders in Mandarin, or interact with native Mandarin speakers. This will help boost their confidence in speaking the language and expand their vocabulary.

5. Teach them something new about the language every day

For most children (and adults!), learning Mandarin takes a long time, mainly because there are four tones in the language. Depending on how you say a word, it could imply one of four different meanings.

As a parent, you need to be patient and support them throughout their learning journey. One way to do so is by teaching them something new every single day. It can be something easy, for example, teaching them how to pronounce a word, or a bit more challenging, like showing them how to write Chinese characters and words. 

Cultivate your Child’s Love for Mandarin with XCL World Academy’s Bilingual Programme

Contrary to common belief, teaching children to learn two languages at the same can be more effective than teaching in only one, as it allows children to gain a greater understanding of how each language works and filter the differences and similarities between the two. 

XCL World Academy (XWA) has developed a Chinese (Mandarin) – English Bilingual Programme that allows native and non-native Mandarin speakers to experience a rigorous introduction to Mandarin during their foundation learning years and provides students with the opportunity to acquire the skills for speaking, reading, writing, listening and communicating in both English and Mandarin. 

What’s great about our programme is that we’re not limited to just letting your child read books and answer worksheets. We believe in the power of interactive learning, which is why we combine our classes with engaging and creative activities and discussions.

Our students are encouraged to be curious, creative and collaborative within the framework of the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) so that they can build a genuine interest in Mandarin, while also applying the principles and values of the IB PYP, considered essential for child development.

Our Bilingual classes are supported by two qualified ‘role model’ teachers, who are proficient in both English and Mandarin, and who will support and guide your child throughout the learning process. To offer a personalised learning journey for each child, we observe a low student-to-teacher ratio to help ensure that each child succeeds. 

If you would like to learn more about our Chinese (Mandarin) – English Bilingual Programme, feel free to contact our Admissions team at XCL World Academy, who will be delighted to answer your questions. You can also book a personalised campus tour so you can see for yourself the learning culture observed in our school and our world-class facilities.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.