Did you know that the most commonly spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese? There are an estimated 873 million native speakers, as well as approximately 178 million second language speakers, adding up to 1.051 billion Mandarin Chinese language users on the planet. At Peace of Mind we appreciate the benefits of exposing children to a foreign language from a young age, and offer a biweekly, formal Mandarin Chinese language program to students starting at three years old. Our Mandarin Chinese teacher is a native speaker, and teaches students through the use of music, song, objects, art, books, games, and experiences – teaching about Chinese culture as well as the Mandarin Chinese language.
Michael Cruickshank writes on fluentu.com that “in many ways, Mandarin Chinese is much easier to learn than European languages.” Unlike most European languages, it does not feature complicated constructs like genders, subject and verb agreement, or verb conjugation, and Mandarin Chinese also treats tenses in a very simplistic way. If you consider how long learners of other languages focus on verb conjugation and genders, you may begin to understand that this is an area where Mandarin Chinese learners can “rapidly outpace learners of other languages.”
The Atlantic states that “Multi-linguals tend to score better on standardize tests, especially in math, reading, and vocabulary; they are better at remembering lists or sequences, likely from learning grammatical rules and vocabulary; they are more perceptive to their surroundings and therefore better at focusing in on important information while weeding out misleading information…Multi-linguals might also be better decision-makers. According to a new study, they are more resistant to conditioning and framing techniques, making them less likely to be swayed by such language in advertisements or political campaign speeches. Those who speak multiple languages have also been shown to be more self-aware spenders viewing “hypothetical” and “real” money (the perceived difference between money on a credit card and money in cold, hard cash) more similarly than monolinguals.”
Research has shown that learning a second language at a young age offers many benefits in terms of improved communicative ability, cognitive development, cultural awareness, and eventual job opportunities. Society as a whole also profits economically, politically, and socially when its citizens can communicate with, and appreciate, people from other countries and cultures.
Alice Chen writes that “language learning is more cognitive than linguistic. Here are just a few of the cognitive benefits to learning a foreign language: the concept of “object permanence” develops at a younger age, better problem solving skills, better critical thinking skills, more creativity, better flexibility of mind, enhanced memory, (and) better multi-tasking abilities.” According to studies at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab, children who learn a second language “can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language…And the earlier that a child learns a second language the more likely the child will more quickly attain native-like language proficiency.”
At Peace of Mind, we believe in creating a meaningful learning experience for children that will have lifelong benefits. The advantages of learning Mandarin Chinese in an early education setting are abundant and clear, and we are so proud to offer those benefits to your children.