5 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Be Learning Chinese
In today’s world, Chinese is one of the hottest languages to learn. However, most people incorrectly assume that it’s a hard language to learn. It just isn’t true! If done right, Chinese can be one of the easiest languages to learn. And once they do learn it — they opportunities and benefits are endless! Enrolling your kid in a Chinese language program is a good investment and it will benefit him/her enormously. The sooner your child begins learning, the easier it will be for him/her to grasp both pronunciation and writing.
Below are just some of the reasons why you should enroll your child in a Chinese program.
1. Chinese isn’t as Hard as You Think
There is a misconception that Chinese is hard to learn. It has complicated characters, tones, pronunication… etc etc. First of all, 1.3 billion people have learned it, so it’s not impossible. Second, kids are the best language learners there are! A child learning Chinese will learn it much quicker and better than an adult putting in the same amount of time.
Concerns about the characters are tones are usually from misunderstanding. In fact, these things may make it more enjoyable to a kid. Chinese characters are not necessary to be learned straight from the start! There’s a system called “Pinyin” where teachers use English to explain the pronunciations of Chinese words. And when kids look to learn Chinese characters, it’s a fun thing! Similar to exercise where kids have to write and reqriter lots of English letters, Chinese characters is a much more art based version of this. Heck, you might even enjoy writing Chinese characters alongside them since it’s so calming.
Tones can also be seen as a fun, easier thing. Adding tones to speaking is like adding singing to talking. One tone will sound like the ‘mi’ or ‘do-re-mi.’ Another tone, you have to go all the way down from the ‘mi’ to the ‘do.’ If you teach it in a fun way, this is both enjoyable and not so challenging to a child. Heck, their singing might even get better (results not guaranteed haha).
As a last bonus, the Chinese language does have several aspects that are easier than their European counterparts. Chinese has no tenses, genders, or case. The sentence structure is very similar to English as well. This means it’s easy to get start speaking out correctly in Chinese.
2. Chinese Exposes Your Kids to a World of Opportunities
Learning this language will give your child a head start in life. Bilinguals today currently report making 15% more than their monolingual counterparts. Plus, you are now open opportunities in multiple parts of the world.
When making a choice about your child’s future, you’re probably thinking about the future of the world in general. China’s economy has become a huge force and only looks to extend its influence in the coming decades. There will be the need for people who can bridge the gap between China and other countries. Being fluent in Chinese will make your kid a critical person in his/her line of work.
3. Chinese has some shortcuts
As a pictorial language, some things about Chinese are easier to learn. See the picture above with the 5 children? Those are the numbers 1 through 5 in Chinese. One line for one. Two lines for two. Easy, right? Plus, instead of having separate numbers for eleven, the Chinese way is just to say ten one. Twelve is ten two. Malcolm Gladwell even has a story about how this helps Chinese kids learn math faster from the get-go. Chinese has lots of examples of this with days of the week and more. Plus, with no plurals, the whole system becomes much easier to grass.
Chinese also has a ton of great compound words, where after kids learn the word for fire and moutanin, they immediately know the word for volcano — ‘fire mountain.’ While English is composed of 3/5 romance languages and 2/5 germanic influence, Chinese is a much more simple uniform system. Interesting, huh?
4. Chinese can be like a fun art class
The Chinese language is made up of characters that fit together to create a meaningful word. Your child will learn the different characters through pictographs… aka pictures! All Chinese characters originated from pictures that looked like the thing they were drawing. This means each character has a fun story with it and you can learn the evolution of Chinese characters together. This also makes it very easy to remember that when you see a picture of a ‘leaf’ it has something to do with vegetation.
In case you’re unaware, Chinese characters are made up of smaller components called radicals. Kids will learn radicals and then be able to learn to quickly piece them together to make up characters. Learn the radical for all water-related words and then you’re ready to learn a whole set of water words! It’s easy!
Learning through pictures makes learning fun. Kids enjoy games and understand faster by learning through game-elements. Nowadays, schools use a sophisticated way of teaching, it’s, therefore, better to give your kid a break and learn the old fashioned way via games, papers, and crafts. The mini-pictures help them remember the characters easily.
5. Communicate with more than a billion people in Chinese
There are lots of benefits that your child will get by being able to speak to any person of Chinese origin. Despite the fact that Chinese isn’t spoken in other countries such as India or France. But, only a person speaking fluent Chinese can understand all China has to offer. In addition to that, the Chinese diaspora is nearly everywhere. Your kid can practice his/her speaking skills locally and even make a group of new friends.
Despite the fact that the world nowadays shares a common online space, this is not the case for China. The Chinese websites are mostly inaccessible to other people because of the language barrier. Your child will be exempted from the rest of the people and can tap into unlimited content on the Chinese sites.
As you can see above, the Chinese language is quite significant. It will open up your child to lots of job opportunities. He/she will be able to stand out from the rest during a job interview. China will play a huge role in the future economic world. It’s therefore advisable you equip your kid with the right skills as soon as possible.