The development of children’s language ability depends to a large extent on the language input in the surrounding environment, that is, the real resources that children can access in their daily life.
Our brain is like a supercomputer. It can calculate the frequency of use of a certain language structure, and in what context it will appear, establish a network of connections, and form a grammatical structure. The children’s “supercomputers” can only be run if a large amount of input is guaranteed.
Generally, children who do not live in China or around Chinese speakers regularly face many problems such as insufficient input, few opportunities, and insufficient vocabulary.
In this case, parents should pay more attention to creating suitable conditions/environments to increase their kids’ language input. So what you can do for reaching this goal?
Many cartoons are very suitable input materials to help kids learn Chinese.
For example, the Chinese version of “粉红小猪 (Peppa Pig)” is in line with Krashen’s comprehensible input principle.
The difficulty is slightly higher than the child’s level, but with the scene and the picture, the child can understand it, so they will be very active and happy to input. The following are 4 popular cartoons in China that you can find video resources easily online.
Guài Guài Pīnyīn Lìxiǎn Jì
《怪 怪 拼音 历险 记》
The Adventure of Pinyin Monsters
Dàtóu érzǐ Hé Xiǎotóu Bàbà
《大头 儿子 和 小头 爸爸》
The Stories of the Big-Head Son and Small-Head Dad
Xiǎo Lǐyú Lìxiǎn Jì
《小 鲤鱼 历险 记》
The Adventures of a Little Carp
Parents should choose some interesting picture books for their children. You can also choose some suitable Chinese storybooks or Chinese Nursery Rhymes besides picture books.
Try different materials regularly. The content must be interesting to catch your child’s attention. Read these books with your kids, and try to discuss what you feel during reading. Encourage your kids to express themselves in Chinese using ‘feeling’ words.
You can start with simple Chinese words/sentences which is really effective. Soon enough, with this method, your kids will begin to speak unhindered.
Family members should set a few easy rules. For example, family members can only speak Chinese on Saturdays or Sundays. If you speak other languages, you will be punished with housework or a fine (insert monetary amount here).
Encourage your kids to read their own diaries or stories out loud. Even you can help to record these stories. Your kids will not only find it interesting but will also feel a sense of accomplishment.
5. Seek help from a tutor
If your child is struggling with their Chinese learning, consider hiring a tutor, whether it’s online or offline. A tutor can provide one-on-one support and help your child improve their language skills.
Learning Chinese must be a long-term process that takes a lot of time and patience and therefore requires persistence for your child. The best resources are other people and Chinese media that are suitable for your child’s age and level.
If you are interested in learning Chinese, click on our website and get a free trial lesson for your child!
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