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. 



1 of my miss steps in teaching AJ Chinese was not conversing regularly with him early enough.  At age 2, he could already read some Chinese characters, but to put them into sentences to converse, I found out that he lacked confidence to.  I realised that I started the Mandarin verbal communication a little late.

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.




This was how his interest in Chinese grew, I guess.  Through the centre, he started to appreciate this language.  This could also be the reason why he loves traditional Chinese (繁体字) over simplified Chinese (简体字), & he likes to study how each Chinese character derived (文字的来源).  Slowly, he started to understand the beauty of reading with feelings/emotion, making story reading sounds pleasant.  Below is a video clip of him reading when he was 5.  I really love the way he reads aloud now.




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.



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