Don’t you find it odd, how, if you learn something using songs, you still remember the words many years after?
The same principle can be used with learning Mandarin-Chinese. There are many ways to learn Chinese, but using songs and music is one of the more effective ways to learn it. It has been used by countless generations and true enough, the children do learn Chinese. One of the main theories for this is that language researchers have found that similar areas in the brain process music and language.
Little kids love nursery rhymes and songs. Children are easily exposed to a lot of words, expressions and rhymes. Learning rhymes is important because it trains children to identify the little differences and similarities of words. Learning these differences in sounds and the corresponding characters is an essential part of reading, writing and speaking the language. By using nursery rhymes, kids will get accustomed to the different Chinese words and how they are used. Children’s music in Chinese often features words that young children start learning with in school. The Chinese words for all colors, numbers, shapes and the alphabet are easier to remember when learned through music.
You may look for Chinese sing-along CDs and cassettes for kids to be further exposed to the language. You may also sing along with your child. You will be surprised that you too will learn the words soon enough. Some CDs have lyrics books and translations. Try to not look up the meanings of the words and figure the meaning out yourself. When you know a song or all the songs from the CD, then you may sing with your child in the car or as you prepare to go to sleep.
Some children’s movies also have songs in Chinese. Some internationally released cartoon movies have Chinese translations (for example, movies from Disney). If your child likes it, you may learn the songs from movie tracks together. The same for all the music you will find in favorite Chinese videos for kids or tv shows. If there are nice songs, have your child learn these.
You can then use the songs as a memory cue when you encounter an object in one of the songs. You may ask, “What is the Mandarin word for this? Remember our favorite song from (a certain video)? What is this called then?” And surely you will see a happy smile as your child remembers the Chinese equivalent.
You may also do gestures as you sing nursery rhymes with your child. Kids also love to sing with action gestures, so do so if you like. Singing with body movements helps kids remember the Chinese words. This also enhances your child’s coordination, so you get more than one benefit as you shake it with your child.
Later on, as your little child grows up, you may look for Chinese pop songs that will interest teens more. Classic Chinese songs (folk songs and more) may also be appreciated at the same time. The internet now offers a lot of songs among the different countries in different languages. You may be able to purchase Chinese songs on the internet.
About the Author
owner of the site Childbook.com which for over 12 years has been helping Children in the United States learn more about Chinese Culture and Language.we have a wide range of Chinese books, CDs, Chinese New Year DVDs,and other resources for your child to learn.