Amy, a 7-year-old girl from the United States, is a lively child who developed a keen interest in learning Chinese. She started her Chinese lessons at a local school since 2022. However, she struggled with a fear of making mistakes, preventing her from confidently speaking the language.
Initially, she would quietly listen to her Chinese teacher’s explanations in the class, but when it came time to answer questions or engage in dialogues, she would become nervous and hesitant to speak up.
Recognizing Amy’s struggle, Amy’s mother decided to take a more hands-on approach. She started playing Mandarin videos with simple Chinese conversations for Amy during daily activities, like mealtime and playtime. This created a comfortable environment for Amy to gradually practice speaking without the fear of judgment. Amy’s mother also encouraged her to speak up without worrying about making mistakes. She told Amy that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process and we don’t need to care much about what others think.
In addition to her mother’s efforts, Amy’s breakthrough came with the support of her Chinese teacher at eChineseLearning, a reputable online Chinese school. The teacher, understanding Amy’s hesitation, implemented interactive and engaging activities in their lessons. Role-playing, language games, and storytelling became regular components of the curriculum, making the learning experience enjoyable for Amy.
The teacher also provided positive reinforcement, praising Amy for her efforts and focusing on her progress rather than any mistakes she made. This boosted Amy’s confidence and motivated her to actively participate in class activities.
Over time, with the combined support from her mother and eChineseLearning teacher, Amy’s fear of making mistakes began to diminish. She started to express herself more freely in Chinese, asking questions, sharing her thoughts, and participating in class discussions. The transformation was evident, and Amy’s newfound confidence in speaking Chinese became a source of pride for both her and her supportive learning community.
From Amy’s story, it can be learnt that the power of encouragement is significant when kids struggle with speaking a second language confidently, and both parents and teacher(s) should create a nurturing environment which embraces mistakes as part of the language-learning journey.
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