Hi everyone! I want to introduce you to a new weekly installment I'll be doing to help you teach your child Mandarin Chinese. It's called Ni Hao Kids and it's all about learning simple words you can use with your child in everyday situations to help teach them Chinese!
I haven't talked a lot about it on the blog but Mr. Eight and I both learned Chinese while working in the Air Force. Now that we have kids, I speak Chinese with them everyday and as often as possible! I believe that helping your child learn a second language is one of the best things you can do for them. There is no downside to being bilingual, it can only bring strength and opportunity to your child!
It's commonly said that children are like sponges that absorb everything around them, and that's completely true! (How often do you hear of a kid picking up a bad word they only heard once? It only took that one time and they had it!) Just a small amount of practice every day can really go a long way.
With young children we should view every moment as a learning opportunity. Going to the park, the store, to school, playing at home, all of these situations give parents a chance to increase and enhance vocabulary. Foreign language learning should be treated the same way. When playing blocks with my kids I like to talk about the colors with my daughter: "Can you hand me the blue block?" "I need a purple block, do you see any?" The only difference is that after I ask her in English, I also ask her in Chinese, so she hears the same words in both languages. For toddlers, language learning isn't done in a classroom at a desk, it's part of their everyday life.
Of course, I have the added benefit of already knowing Chinese, so using it every day is pretty simple. However, that doesn't mean that you can't do it too. I can help you learn simple words you can use with your child every day, and you'll be amazed at how quickly they pick it up!
I'll also be posting great resources you can use to help you and your child learn: videos, songs, books, etc. We use DVDs at home to help teach our kids Chinese. My favorite series is called Early Lingo. I'll be hosting a review and giveaway for some of their DVDs soon so keep an eye out for that!
Tomorrow we'll start our first lesson and I can't wait to share it with you! I hope you find it helpful and you're able to share it with your child.
Do you have any experience teaching your children a foreign language? Do you use other products to help your kids learn? I'd love to hear about it!