There’s no disputing that Chinese classes are appearing more often on school curriculum around the world. There are many reasons why Chinese – especially Mandarin – is a great language to learn; including the fact that China’s economy has exploded in the last 20 years. However, it’s not just China’s growing economy and global status that makes Mandarin a good language to learn, it also has lots of other benefits, that can be especially advantageous for kids.
Improves cognitive ability – Learning and becoming proficient in Mandarin has been proven to increase a person’s cognitive strength. This is because, unlike most other languages, Mandarin requires the use of both sides of the brain (Wellcome Trust UK, June 2003), especially if you learn how to both read and write it! That means that Mandarin speakers tend to be proficient at both logical and creative thinking, giving them a head start in almost every school subject.
Improves problem-solving skills – Chinese characters can seem like random lines on a piece of paper to those who have never studied the language however, all the components of the characters each have their own meaning or significance. Learning to differentiate between the different radicals, sound particles and meaning particles of a character to establish its meaning and pronunciation requires excellent problem-solving skills.