Ryan, a 14-year-old student from the United States, began learning Chinese at the age of 12. Initially, he only had a grasp of basic vocabulary and characters, and he found Chinese to be quite challenging. However, one day while watching YouTube, he stumbled upon videos about Chinese festivals. He learned about the origins of the Chinese New Year and discovered that during this festival, Chinese people set off fireworks, hang couplets, and eat dumplings, among other traditions. This sparked a strong interest in him.
He started researching Chinese culture online, watching videos about traditional Chinese festivals, the way of life of the Chinese people, and some aspects of Chinese history. He developed a deep fascination with ancient Chinese civilization, the Silk Road, and Chinese martial arts. He also watched documentaries and educational videos about Chinese culture and attended local Chinese cultural exhibitions and events.
Through these efforts, Ryan began to understand the unique aspects of Chinese culture and gradually integrated this knowledge with his Chinese language learning. He started noticing that certain vocabulary and expressions in Chinese were related to Chinese values and traditions. For example, he learned about the importance of “礼” (li) in Chinese culture, which made it easier for him to understand and learn vocabulary and expressions related to etiquette and courtesy.
Ryan also participated in Chinese cultural activities, such as Chinese calligraphy classes. These activities allowed him to gain deeper insights into Chinese art and culture while providing opportunities to practice his speaking and listening skills.
Over time, Ryan’s proficiency in Chinese continued to improve. He became capable of having simple conversations, understanding Chinese stories and songs, and expressing his thoughts and feelings in Chinese. His teachers and family were pleasantly surprised and inspired by his progress.
Through his exploration of Chinese culture, Ryan not only enhanced his Chinese language skills but also developed respect and understanding for different cultures. He discovered the close connection between the Chinese language and Chinese culture, which fueled his passion and appreciation for learning Chinese.
Understanding Chinese culture is of great help to kids learning Chinese, as it deepens their desire to learn the language and enhances their understanding of Chinese language. Therefore, it is important to actively encourage your kid to explore Chinese culture while they are learning Mandarin.
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.