Unlocking the Mysteries: Grammar Challenges Faced by Australian Children Learning Mandarin

Learning a new language can be a joyful and interesting journey, and Mandarin is no exception. This article explores the grammatical challenges Australian kids encounter when learning Chinese.

1. Verb tense

One of the first grammatical hurdles Australian kids face is understanding Mandarin verb tenses. Unlike English, Mandarin verbs do not change according to tense. Rather, temporal expressions and context play a crucial role in conveying past, present, and future actions. Additionally, sentence patterns, such as subject-verb-object (SVO) and subject-predicate (SP), require them to think outside the box and adapt to different language structures.

2. Complexity of quantifiers and classifiers

Quantifiers, also called classifiers, add an extra layer of complexity to Mandarin grammar. Australian kids often have difficulty choosing appropriate quantifiers for different objects. Whether they are quantifiers for people, animals or objects, they will easily be confused.

3. Deal with negative and interrogative sentences

The construction of negative and interrogative sentences in Mandarin requires a unique set of grammatical rules. Australian kids often find it interesting to explore the various negative particles and question words that exist in Mandarin. From using “no” (bù) to express negation, to using “what” (ma) or “how” (zěnme yàng) to form questions, our primary school students met the challenge with joy.

Solving Strategies :

Find an online professional Chinese teacher and communicate with the teacher more or find Chinese friends and immerse in the Chinese environment.

If you are interested in having your kid learn Chinese, sign up for a free trial class via the form on this page, and we will be happy to help.

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