Around the world, the buzzword in parenting circles is surely the Chinese language. Children in Asia, Europe and the Americas alike are lining up to learn Mandarin, since the Chinese economy is an undoubted force to contend with, and there are many things about this language that make is incredibly addictive and stimulating for learners. For children aged around three and above, there is no better time to study Chinese, for Chinese companies are predicted to continue expanding into areas such as Europe, and there is a growing demand for workers who know the Chinese language, but who are also deeply aware of local custom, both in the entrepreneurial and social sense. If you are still thinking about whether or not to start a Chinese class, or enroll your kids in Chinese school, these are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t be fazed by the intricate world of characters: the latter may be challenging, but they are perfect for the learner who needs a little push. Who said that easy equated to boring? Whoever they were, they were surely right.
1. There are 1.3 billion people in China
This means that if just one per cent of the Chinese population were to visit, live or do business in your country, that would amount to 13 million people! Wouldn’t it be great if you could communicate with them, learn more about their rich culture and gastronomy, and even do business with them? Did you know that in 2014, Tao Bao (China’s equivalent of eBay) made 53 billion yuan on just one ‘Black Friday’?
2. Learning Mandarin is special
Unlike most European languages, Mandarin Chinese is rich in tonalities; most children find the melodic, captivating nature of the language to be quite unique and fun to learn. Mandarin also offers kids the opportunity to learn the beautiful art of character writing; it does wonders for a child’s self-confidence as they discover that something that seemed so difficult, is actually achievable by the second or third try! Mandarin makes kids feel special, as they are learning a language that is unique yet which can make such a vast difference to their future. In addition to being very entertaining, learning Chinese also enhances their cognitive skills, so they can reap many benefits in other subjects.
3. Learning Mandarin is a great reason to visit China
China is a magnificent country to visit, with cities like Shanghai boasting a rich culture, tempting gastronomy, and lots of fun places for kids to visit; the Shanghai Disney Resort, boasting two themed hotels, countless recreational facilities and exciting rides, is set to open later this year, which is just another reason to get to know this fascinating city. China also offers an unbeatable retail experience; kids can learn to use the yuan, and practice converting their dollars or euros into the local currency as they take their pick from the many toy and clothes shops that pepper the city. When you know Mandarin, it also opens your doors to meeting and getting to know people living in China. It can be rewarding, indeed, to reach the level at which you can freely exchange information about your respective cultures, and share everything from good reading material to vital information on the best sites to see in the area, etc.
4. The Chinese culture is rich and diverse, and definitely worth discovering
When you sign your kids up for a fun summer or Winter camp with the friendly team at That’s Mandarin, you can be sure that they will learn everything from the delicate art of character writing, to theatre mask painting, cooking, and so much more. That’s Mandarin organizes trips to Beijing and Shanghai, two cities which have so many cultural offerings, that it maybe very difficult to settle on just one!
5. Learning Chinese fosters personal development
Children can learn what it feels like to feel part of a group in which each and everyone is beginning a fun and challenging journey. They learn to take turns, ask questions and encourage each other to do their best. Classes can take on a very fun atmosphere, especially when singing or games are involved.
6. Learning Chinese fosters intellectual growth
Knowing more than one language enhances personal growth. It greatly improves reading and writing skills and makes us better communicators. As is the case with music, there is evidence that language learning promotes greater intelligence.
7. Chinese is fun!
You don’t need to know every single character to be able to ask for simple things, introduce yourself or make friends. As you progress with your Chinese course, you will find that Chinese is an incredibly intuitive language and that all it takes is discipline, exposure and an authentic interest in learning.