Independent experts on children learning Mandarin Chinese - browse our site for information and experience

To know another language is to open up another world of understanding. Chinese is spoken by 1 billion people. Furthermore its culture so different from Western cultures can be accessed through the language. Learning Chinese becomes an interesting process rather than something that has to be done in order to speak another language.

Have a look at this site if you are interested in understanding more. Look at our sister website The Chinese Staffroom is you are a teacher of Mandarin Chinese in schools and / or to children.

More and more countries are appreciating that French and German are taking second place to Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and of course English as a second language. Sweden is thinking of making Chinese compulsory after English and have a plan going through parliament to achive this goal in 10 years. The USA, Australia and the UK have schools that have taught Chinese for many years. Meanwhile India is also looking seriously at adopting Chinese in schools developing curricula for the Chinese language.

Please note if you are a teacher of Chinese then look at 'The Chinese Staffroom' that is just for Chinese teachers and includes jobs, articles and resources even for schools new to Chinese.

Why bother with Chinese?
- Adult perceptions that Mandarin Chinese is a difficult language to learn are shattered when working with children especially young ones. The tonal nature of the language and the few unique sounds to Chinese are easily imitated by children.
- Older children appreaciate directly the vocational nature of learning Chinese even if they never speak it that fluently, learning the language gives access to the Chinese culture as the two are closely linked
- Chinese is often and easily taught alongside knowledge about China and Chinese culture. Children appreciate learning about this context and are motivated by understanding the culture in which Chinese operates
- Because it is a different language, it can be compared and contrasted more easily with English than say German, French or Spanish using literal and sense translations and ensuring characters are translated word for word. Children see to respond to this well especially boys. Working out how differently meaning is created intrigues children and also helps them to think how meaning is created in their own language.

Children Learn Chinese News:

Will Hutton on languages

Why do we continue to isolate ourselves by only speaking English?

Ready the full story in The Guardian 5th February to understand more.

Britain's future economic and political wellbeing is being hamstrung by our reluctance to learn foreign languages.

Learning a language is thus a double win. The brilliant translator Michael Hofmann has written in these pages of the delight of mastering more than one language. To speak a single language, he argues, is to be enclosed in one cultural possibility – to be preordained to live in the linguistic and cultural cage into which you are born. "If you don't have another language, you are condemned to occupy the same positions, the same phrases all your life," he wrote. "It's harder to outwit yourself, harder to doubt yourself in just one language. It's harder to play." To acquire another language is to open yourself up to the world and to increase vastly your employability.

Read the story to learn more

Roedean, top UK independent school, makes Mandarin Chinese compulsory

Top UK independent school has made learning Mandarin Chinese compulsory.

As so many of the boarders at Roedean now are Chinese, non-Chinese girls are being required to learn Mandarin Chinese from the age of 9. As the influence of China grows learning this language should help greater social understanding across the cultures.

Michael Gove speaks about Chinese at SSAT event

Did he support learning Chinese and if so why?

What did Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education in the UK, have to say about learning Mandarin Chinese, the SSAT,social mobility and learning from the Chinese educational system through the assessment of educaiton systems across the world known as PISA. Have a look at this link to our sister website:

Sesame Street Chinese DVDs and Elmo Bilingual DVDs review and where to buy

Everyone is raving about these DVDs from Sesame Street and Elmo...

Where to see the list of Sesame Street Chinese DVDs
Where to buy the DVDs

As for Elmo bilingual - see here for the list of content
and here to buy

2011 National Chinese Language Conference

Register soon for this Conference - visits to schools, workshops, exhibition....

Register here for the biggest Chinese teachers / schools conference. To be held in San Francisco April 14 - 16. Organised by the Asia Society in association with the Mandarin Institute

New English Baccalaureate includes a Modern Foreign Language (MFL)

What is the English Baccalaureate and its impact on learning Chinese in schools

Divided opinion: English Baccalaureate
English schools will now be measured on how many pupils achieve grades A*-C in five core subjects - maths, English, two science qualifications, a foreign language and either history or geography. The short Mandarin Chinese course with AQA or Edexcel might be an option?

Department of Education in UK does deal with China for more teachers in return for leadership training in China

The Chinese Staffroom reports on Ministry of Education Gove's new initiative for Chinese teachers

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced a pioneering new partnership with China to train 1000 more Mandarin teachers for secondary schools in England. During a visit to China to build stronger education partnerships with the Chinese.

Mr Gove launched the joint programme between the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Hanban (the Confucius Institute Headquarters). It is to run over the next five years.

Central Board of School Education in India (CBSE) to launch Chinese language in schools from 2011

India too considers Mandarin Chinese important enought to make it work in their schools...

New Delhi: The Central Board of School Education (CBSE) will be introducing Chinese language in schools affiliated to it from April 2011 onwards.
In an official letter to principals of CBSE affiliated schools, Mr Vineet Joshi, IAS, Chairman of CBSE wrote “In view of China emerging as one of the major global economies and Mandarin being spoken by a large population of the world, the Board is set to launch Chinese in class VI from April 2011.”

Read more: ‘Ni Hao’, CBSE to launch Chinese language from 2011 | Bharat Chronicle

Parents debate the rise of Mandarin Chinese in Elementary Schools

Should Mandarin Chinese be taught at Elementary Schools asks the Wall Street Journal?

The overall answer seems yes -especially if you read the comments section. Yes because it is co-taught with culture, yes because what makes it difficult for an adult makes it easy for a child and the differences cultural and linguistic improve the child's likely level of interaction with China in the future and their understanding of how their own languages and other languages e.g. Spanish work

Should I be bringing my British children up in Beijing?

A Telegraph journalist wonders about the benefits and disadvantages of his children learning to live in China

Follow the link to decide whether you agree with the journalits point of view.

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