At this age, kids are accustomed to schoolwork and can easily relate to rote learning in lessons. Kids 6-12 are now aware that language has structures and grammar. They can note patterns in speaking and writing, unlike the smaller kids.
Here are some activities your 6-12 year old can do to learn Chinese easily and in a fun way.
Who says only little kids like having you around for using these materials? Sometimes, you can sit in as they use these, and ask questions or talk with them using these materials.
As always, talk to your child in Chinese, if you can. Whether they respond or not. If you are a non-Chinese speaker, ask questions like "What is this called in Chinese again?"
Storybooks. There are a lot of storybooks in Chinese that kids will also like. Bigger kids may want to check out the juvenile softcover books. The hero/ heroine in the story is usually of the same age as your child. This will surely interest your child to
DVDs. Bigger kids like to pick out DVDs to watch by themselves. Childbook has DVDs that teach Chinese and values, such as . There are also science DVDs, such as Discovery Kids, that are enjoyable for elementary school kids.
Software. There are CD-ROMs for middle schoolers, such as Kuaile Hanyu, that kids will like to watch or play with with the computer.
Chinese crafts. 6-12 year olds can now make intermediate craft projects on their own. You can encourage the use of Chinese words to be written on the project.
Games. Introduce Chinese games during parties, or on hot summer days when your child's friends are all together. There are games that include the use of Chinese vocabulary. Or use Chinese flash cards as a game prop. Join in if they want you to join. Have fun with your child and your child's friends.
Pop Chinese Songs. If your child likes music and pop singers, look for a modern Chinese singer that your child may love and get the songs. Have your child play the song often, and learn the Chinese lyrics.
Participation in different Chinese holidays. Bring your child to Chinese holiday events, such as dragon boat racing, Moon Festival and of course, Chinese New Year.
Cable TV may have its uses after all. Hint that Chinese can be learned from television. Let your middle schooler watch new and old Chinese movies with Chinese dialogue.
With these types of methods, your child may be learning Mandarin sooner than you expect.
Have some more tips for our parent-teacher community to helping 6-12 year old kids learn Chinese?
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