Tips on Learning Chinese (Part 2 of 5) [克服障碍。华语我爱]
So much about learning Chinese by hearing in part 1 of this series, the next is speaking. Yes, when a child hears often enough, he/she will be able to speak & converse.
With time still on my hand, I geared up sourcing for resources to mend my miss step. I was looking for an enrichment centre for him, not an ordinary centre that taught Chinese like having a tuition.
Needless to say, the hunt was not easy. I wanted a centre that could expose him to Chinese culture, Chinese drama, Chinese history, public speaking in Mandarin, etc. I wanted the environment to be so rich in this language that it should not be academically driven (read: tuition alike), so that AJ would appreciate Chinese & be more open to speaking this beautiful language. I wanted him to be able to speak Mandarin fluently & beautifully.
I visited many Chinese enrichment centres, spoke to the persons-in-charge, flipped through their course curriculum, but none came close to my requirements.
Finally, when AJ was about 4, I found it! I enrolled him into this 2-hour weekly session (which didn't come cheap). From then onwards, his conversational skills in Mandarin grew in leaps. Although I did speak to him in Mandarin at home (after realising that I need to do so early), I credit the school for boosting AJ's confidence in Mandarin speaking.
Half a year later, he was given the opportunity to perform on a large scale theatrical performance. He was only 4+ then, but the boy took it confidently.
If you are thinking of ways to help your child speak Mandarin fluently & read aloud with emotion (when you can't cultivate that at home), my experience is to send the child to this kind of courses or the minimum, speech & drama courses. Here are 2 centres run by local broadcasting stations that you may want to consider:
(1) Singapore Media Academy
(2) Rediffusion Media Academy
* This is not a sponsored post.