Q&A with Rhona French


What do you love about teaching Mandarin Chinese to children?

There are many reasons I love teaching Mandarin Chinese. Obviously, the opportunity to speak the language regularly and gain a more intimate knowledge of it as I teach is wonderful. However, I think it’s the process of singing, dancing and devising creative ways in which to share the language that is especially rewarding. Each class is different and each lesson unique. Many of the children I have worked with have never heard Mandarin before and so the enthusiasm and interest with which they approach the class is wonderful. Knowing that you’ve delivered an engaging and entertaining lesson that will stick with the children long after the class is over is a fantastic feeling, it’s pretty incomparable.

What do children love most about your classes?

It depends on the child! Most of the children in my classes are toddler/pre-school age and so especially enjoy the songs, dancing and games that we introduce. I vary the activities hugely in my classes so that all the different children gain opportunities to express themselves in differing manners, such as, for instance, joining in with different actions in the story, taking on different roles in games and sharing their knowledge in the cultural activities at the beginning of each lesson. I have found that all children love showing off their language at any opportunity! No matter their personality, each child enjoys sharing the language and signs that they have retained and I make sure they have plenty of chances to do so.

How easy is it for children to learn Chinese with Little Mandarin Classes?