Ni Hao, dear readers!
We are back online after a couple of exciting months here at Little Mandarin Classes.
We are preparing exciting projects in partnership with two London nurseries and would also love to highlight the increasing demand for language classes in London. The past few years have shown a raise in the number of language learners and pupils choosing Mandarin Chinese as their second language or for their GCSEs in the UK.
In 2014, we were learning that Confucius Institutes in the world were expanding rapidly in order to meet demand (read more about it here).
Through research, we have come to notice a pattern regarding the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese, which is considered particularly difficult to learn. Teaching methods and a suitable approach are still being developed, with the aim to teach this language more efficiently. In order to do this, however, we must not forget a few very important things when we talk about acquiring any new language:
1. Learning Mandarin Chinese is just like learning French: it's a complex process.
Mandarin is far from having reached its peak demand yet, however providers seem to be looking for magic tricks that will help students speak the language in a very short time. Let’s be honest about it, it’s difficult to imagine learning and speaking French in one year. And they say Mandarin is VERY HARD!
2. Learning a language is easy if started early.
Having become popular in the very recent years, Mandarin is not a compulsory subject in the Early Years or primary school curriculum while the UK is still struggling to introduce foreign languages in all KS2 classes (and pushing this extra-task onto already swamped class teachers!). A significant percent of the Mandarin learners is made up of older children and college students which means we forget the potential our children have to acquire any language at a much younger age!
London in particular has the beautiful potential to offer access to over 300 different languages. We believe the understanding and bringing this into the educational system will not only provide children with skills but also help them understand the importance of diversity in the most positive way!
3. A language can not be separated from the culture.
This is as obvious as it is accessible. We can support and enhance learning through various resources and activities, from meeting native speakers in our communities to participating in various cultural events, reading or travelling.
Little Mandarin Classes comes to bridge this gap and raise awareness of how important it is for British schools and nurseries to welcome the learning of other languages and to create the space for this to happen.
Are you interested in bringing Mandarin Chinese in your community? Do you have a project or a strong opinion and would like to have a chat? Find us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just read this post first.
Happy Easter, everyone!